March 12 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Businesses have said they fear for their future after Barclays announced it would close the only bank branch in their parade of shops.
The banking giant said its branch in Bunnett Square on Colman Road in Earlham would close its doors for the last time on January 10 next year, and advised customers to use its Eaton branch, two miles away.
Bipin Gurjar, who owns Colman News next door, said: “It will definitely affect business around here. We see some strangers coming in just because of the bank and older people come here just because of the bank.”
Linda Seamons, retail manager of the Break charity shop opposite the bank, said: “I think everyone will feel the pinch once the bank has gone, I’m sure of that. It’s so sad because we are a nice, tight-knit little community here, and one of our neighbours is going away.”
Labour Party activists have launched a petition urging Barclays to change its mind.
Roy Blower, a former lord mayor, said he has had a personal account at the branch for 37 years, and his roofing business had used the branch for 25 years.
He said the closure would particularly hit elderly people, and mothers with young children.
He added: “They are a community bank. Banks have got a bad name at this time, and I think they should give something back to the community. If you look at the number of people going to the bank, it’s not as if it’s under used.”
A spokesman for Barclays said: “The decision to close Colman Road, Norwich branch has not been taken lightly and we appreciate that it will cause some inconvenience. We will work hard to minimise the impact on customers and will help them with the change to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
“One alternative to the branch is the arrangement we have in place in which personal customers are able to pay in and take out cash, free of charge at the local Post Office in Colman Road, Norwich.”
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