Burntwood’s MP says the latest bank branch closure in the town is an unfortunate side-effect of a rise in online and telephone banking.
Barclays have joined HSBC in axing a branch at Sankeys Corner, leaving residents without access to a local banking facility after June 8.
But the company said falling transactions in branch and 76% of customers also using online and telephone options to manage their money, the store in Chase Terrace was no longer viable.
Jason Clark, a director of Barclays in the Midlands and the North of England, responded to a request for clarification from Conservative MP Michael Fabricant about the closure. He said: “The way in which customers are banking at Barclays Chase Terrace branch has changed over recent years.
“Our records show a low and falling level of transactions at the branch. We have also identified we have only 170 customers who solely use the branch to undertake their banking and 54% have used neighbouring branches in the last 12 months.
“Having taken into account how customers are now choosing to bank with us and the alternatives available, the decision to close the branch on June 8 will remain.
“Please be assured that we think long and hard before making any decision to close a branch, and take into account not only how customers use the branch today but identify the alternatives available locally to be able to transact if we were to close.”
Mr Fabricant said the closure was symptomatic of the changing face of banking services.
“I know that customers will be disappointed with this response, but we have to recognise that internet and telephone banking is changing the way people interact with their banks,” he said. “If every branch stayed open, bank charges would begin to soar.
“But I am glad that the Post Office which is very close to the Barclays branch will take up most of the slack.”