Barclays announces closure of village bank

Barclays in Drayton. Pictured inset is Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew 

Barclays in Drayton is closing. Pictured inset is Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew - Credit: Archant/David Holbrook Photography

Villagers and a Norfolk MP are putting pressure on a major banking company to reverse its decision to close a branch near the city.

Barclays has announced it will be closing its bank in Drayton on Wednesday, October 19. 

This has prompted Conservative MP for Broadland, Jerome Mayhew, to intervene in a bid to save the branch.

Mr Mayhew said: "While the pandemic has shifted the way many of us interact with our bank, there are clearly going to be a number of people substantially affected by this change who do not use mobile or telephone banking."

Jerome Mayhew the member of parliament for Broadland

Jerome Mayhew the member of parliament for Broadland - Credit: David Holbrook Photography

The MP has asked Barclays for an urgent meeting to discuss the decision.

He added that if this decision is irreversible, then there will need to be action taken.

Mr Mayhew continued: "We would then need to reach a compromise on what services can be implemented to support these vulnerable customers so that they can continue to access face-to-face banking in the parish." 

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The Broadland MP said he has cleared a space in his diary this weekend to knock on doors in the village to gather views.

Barclays in Drayton is one of many in the region to be saved from closure. Picture: James Bass © 20

Barclays in Drayton - Credit: Evening News © 2009

Graham Everett, chairman of Drayton Parish Council, said the closure would have a "massive impact" on customers who use the School Road bank.

He added: "There are a lot of elderly people who go into the centre of the village.

Chairman of Drayton Parish Council Graham Everett at traffic calming measures on Drayton Hall Lane.

Graham Everett, chairman of Drayton Parish Council - Credit: Dominic Gilbert

"There are other options like the Post Office but sometimes people want to speak to someone in person. 

"Not everyone can use the phone or internet for banking. This is happening everywhere. It's the way of the world now unfortunately but it risks leaving some people behind." 

A spokesman for Barclays said: "The decision to close a branch is never an easy one.

"However, customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking. 

“This is reflected at Drayton branch there has been an 48pc reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020. In addition 90pc of our customers at the branch are also using different ways to bank.

"We will work with our customers and provide alternative options to ensure they can continue to manage their money and receive financial expertise when required.”