The Barclays branch in Lichfield. Picture: Google Streetview
The former Barclays branch in Lichfield. Picture: Google Streetview

Lichfield’s MP says he is “very disappointed” after being informed of plans to close a bank in the city.

Michael Fabricant said that Barclays had confirmed to him that it would shut the doors of the branch on Breadmarket Street in September.

The banking firm had previously unveiled proposals to close down more than 130 branches across the country – over a quarter of its total estate – during the next two years.

Lichfield had not appeared on any of the firm’s initial lists of those outlets being shuttered permanently, but the Conservative MP for Lichfield said he had been informed the Barclays branch would be disappearing from the city centre in the coming months.

“I am very disappointed to learn that Barclays intend to close their branch in Lichfield in September. 

“While I appreciate that retail banking is very different from 25 years ago with most transactions being conducted electronically, the closure of the branch will inconvenience many of its customers. I also feel sorry for the staff.

“Barclays say that people can use the nearby Post Office in Bakers Lane or use other cash machines in the city of Lichfield at rival banks.”

Michael Fabricant

David Bruce, head of corporate relations in the central region for Barclays, confirmed to the MP that the Lichfield site would disappear on 15th September, but that plans were in place to retain a link to the area.

“The decision to close a branch is never an easy one, however, the way people bank today is unrecognisable from 50 years ago when almost every banking transaction took place in a branch. Now, that number is less than 10% and we need to make sure that we are providing our services in ways that best reflect customers’ needs, including outside of traditional branch formats.

“This ongoing change in behaviour means we are seeing a sustained fall in customer transactions across our network and this is reflected at the Lichfield branch where there has been a 68% reduction in counter transactions in the last 12 months compared to the 12 months to March 2020.

“Although the branch is closing, we will still have an active presence in the community via a new and alternative physical presence.

“We plan to provide additional face-to-face access for banking services via one of our community locations from the point of closure. Further details, including the timings and the location of the Barclays Local site, will be communicated to our regular customers in the coming weeks.

“We appreciate that not all of our customers will adopt change at the same pace, and we would like to underline our commitment to supporting our vulnerable customers through this change.

“We have identified that in total, less than ten regular customers use this branch exclusively for their banking and do not interact with us in other ways. We will be making personal contact with our regular and vulnerable branch users to discuss their options and guide them through alternative ways to bank.”

David Bruce, Barclays

“Use it or lose it”

Lichfield’s MP said that he was concerned other banks could follow suit in the wake of the decision.

“My fear is that this growing trend of closing branches nationally is not confined to Barclays and that other branches might close too.

“The old adage of  ‘use it or lose it’ applies to banks as well as it does to any other business. 

“Frankly, I would consider closing my Barclays account if I had one and move to one of the other banks still open in Lichfield such as NatWest, HSBC, or Lloyds to help keep them open. 

“I shall of course write to the head of Barclays asking them to reconsider their decision, but I know that in other areas they do not change their minds so I am not hopeful. 

“Sadly, as an MP, I cannot instruct them to keep the branch open.”

Michael Fabricant

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

30 Comments
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Simon
1 year ago

I think all Lichfield District residents should close their Barclays accounts and move to a Bank that cares to stay open in our city. Don’t remain loyal to those who aren’t staying in Lichfield.

Chris Harris
1 year ago

Just have Bank hubs, where multiple banks can be represented in one place.

Gerp
1 year ago

Barclays are a major investor /funder of the fossil fuel industry I have been told. People who are bothered about this could use the opportunity to stop their savings being used for this and choose a more ethical alternative. Like a good old building society

Carl Sholl
1 year ago

“the Lichfield branch where there has been a 68% reduction in counter transactions in the last 12 months compared to the 12 months to March 2020” – Not surprising when they reduce the number of counters (on some days to zero) and direct customers to automated machines instead. Barclays already closed its Burntwood branch (it was the last bank left in Burntwood) in spite of it always being busy when I went there. The change in behaviour is being forced on people rather than a choice they are making. Perhaps our MP could say something in Parliament!

Toby
1 year ago

We heard about this 3 months ago, so moved to Nationwide, no regrets, in fact £200 immediately better off with a Joint A/C mutual

Ian Skipp
1 year ago

Retail bricks and mortar banks aren’t fit for purpose and do not understand their position in the 21st century market. They really do not need to exist.

Donkeyhoaty
1 year ago

So they’ve closed the Tamworth branch and we have to travel to Lichfield. Now where will have to go to? Not good for global warning all this fuel being used to find a bank

Sarah
1 year ago

I agree, switch to another Lichfield bank and help keep the ones we have left open.

Mike
1 year ago

Banking on line,next it will be building societies on line, a lot of what used to be done such as forms at the Post Office now down load on line, shopping on line it is the publics fault for using on line

Mike
1 year ago

Gerp do you drive a car? Shop in a supermarket,go on holiday,all use fossil fuels

BigStephenS
1 year ago

With 2023 quarter 1 profits only up by 16% to £2.6 bn. Barclays have got to find savings somewhere. Public service is the obvious place to make them. With bankers’ bonuses no longer capped it looks like it’s trebles all round in the Barclays boardroom!

Alica Fibmerchant
1 year ago

Have none of the people complaining about the bank closing ever heard of the internet? It’s a great invention…you can literally do your banking from the comfort of your mobile phone / tablet. No queues, no problems. Try it, you might like it.

Davey
1 year ago

It’s about time normal people took action that will hit the banks and building societies where it hurts- in the pocket. If droves of customers suddenly left citing a closure as the reason it should get the fat cat bosses worried and hopefully bring about a change of policy. When banks close in a town or city it is normally the beginning of the end for the remaining businesses so this battle must be fought!

Jess
1 year ago

The fall in footfall is mainly due to the fact that when you visit this branch you are told they can’t assist you and you need to call. Then when you call you are left in a queue for at least an hour. Oh and the branch runs on reduced operating hours. I feel sorry for the staff but the message has been clear from Barclays for a while they do not want our customer

LiveYourLife
1 year ago

I have read several times on Lichfield Live that Blue Badge holders are dependant on Bore Street parking for banking needs. Barclays say they have identified less than 10 regular dependent customers. Something doesn’t add up here……

Jim
1 year ago

I suppose they aren’t making enough money so have to make these cut backs……

Harry
1 year ago

All the boomers in here losing their mind over an old-fashioned branch closure. Get with the digital age already, it’s 2023 🤣

Simon
1 year ago

I guess this will get turned into more flats before we know it.

nome
1 year ago

So the nearest open branch would either burton or walsall? Disgraceful

Carl Sholl
1 year ago

Not everybody can get “with it” and switch to internet banking, which makes older people particularly vulnerable to online scams. This is an example of a bank not caring about its more vulnerable customers. Of course, it’s not just Barclays, others have already gone, including TSB, Co-op Bank and Santander and HSBC in Burntwood.
This Ofcom article shows the scale of the problem: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2023/scale-and-impact-of-online-fraud-revealed
Here’s an extract: “A quarter of those who said they’d encountered online scams had lost money as a result (25%) – with a fifth (21%) being scammed out of £1,000 or more.
More than a third (34%) of all victims also reported that the experience had an immediate negative impact on their mental health, increasing to nearly two-thirds (63%) among those who had lost money.”

Simon
1 year ago

Nome – switch to a bank that’s open in Lichfield.

ProfessorPineapple
1 year ago

Our MP has been talking to the press recently about his achievement in 31 years as our MP – both of the. At that rate, his next achievement will be in 2038. Meanwhile he keeps quiet about the forthcoming tax on food arriving arriving from the EU. That’s right, in the middle of a cost of living crisis it’s a good idea to tax food. I will leave him to tell you how much that tax is per shipment. The importers can tell you how much extra their costs have increased and the supermarkets can tell you by how much the cost of food will increase.
Why hasn’t he listed Brexit as an achievement? End the folly now and rejoin the single market.

Jean
1 year ago

I have banked with Barclays for over 40 years and are disgusted they are closing the Lichfield branch, in recent years they have closed branches at Brownhills, Burntwood and Aldridge and now Lichfield is closing where are we supposed to go ?

Harry
1 year ago

In this thread: People who seem to have forgotten that banks are massive, commercial for-profit entities and not a God-given right. If a branch isn’t making money, it’ll quickly get culled to save shareholder profits.

Mike
1 year ago

Jean you have to go online .it is online that forces banks shops etc to close,blame yourselves

Carl Sholl
1 year ago

While Harry is quite right to point out that banks are massive commercial entities and that profit is their prime motive, Lichfield Live readers might be forgiven for thinking otherwise when they read statements like “we need to make sure that we are providing our services in ways that best reflect customers’ needs” from the bank’s representative. Closing branches is not reflecting customers’ needs.

belleview
1 year ago

@Professor Pineapple : Buy British and support our local farmers and producers. It’s good for the economy and environment. I do understand that there is certain foods we have to import.
British goods first , EU goods second that sounds right to me.

Steve
1 year ago

@Jean, it’s quite simple, change Banks to another Lichfield bank.

Philip
1 year ago

It is difficult to get cash as it stands. Luckily the Post Office has recently offered a service. For small purchases or circumstances like ‘car boots’, where you are not dealing with businesses then cash is essential.
On a broader front, how can you have physical contact with Your money? We are forced into a position where banks control all aspects of our finances. Personally, and having seen the deteriorating services from banks, I think there is cause of concern.
In principle the ‘coin of the realm’ should be an acceptable means of monetary transactions.
Card fraud is already at frightening levels.

ProfessorPineapple
1 year ago

Belleview – Perhaps you could address my principal point. Taxing food in the middle of a cost of living crisis.