Barclays announces closure of village bank
- 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."
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.
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.
"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.”