Barclays is set to close another local bank – with bosses claiming reduced footfall was behind the decision. The branch on Lichfield Street, Bilston, will close its doors on May 7, as Barclays continues to axe dozens of banks across the country. Last June it shut down its Wednesfield branch, while more than 60 branches were confirmed for closure in December, including Halesowen which will go next month. Barclays says there will be no redundancies from the Bilston branch closure as staff will be “reallocated” within the business.
Lisa Webb, Barclays head of corporate relations central, said there had been “a sustained fall in customer transactions across our network”, with the Bilston branch seeing a 22 per cent reduction in cash transactions at the counter in the two years to March 2020. She said the equivalent figure for business and corporate customers was 11 per cent and added: “We can identify that 86 per cent of our customers at the branch are using alternative ways in which to undertake their banking, including via the telephone, online and mobile app.
She said: “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 will be making personal contact with all regular branch users to discuss their options and guide them through alternative ways to bank.”This could include, for those vulnerable customers who are unable to travel to a nearby branch, the option to use our at-home cash delivery service.
Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden, said: “This is very disappointing news. “I appreciate banking is changing and many banks are looking at branch closures but this is the second bank closure in Bilston in the last couple of years or so and it all leaves more gaps on the high street.”The fewer branches we have the more inconvenient it is for those small businesses and consumers who are still dependent on cash.”Cash use may be in decline but it is still essential for some people and we can’t drift to a cashless society without thinking this through and making sure it doesn’t widen inequality and damage some people’s access to goods and services.”