Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (29th January 2014) called on Barclays Bank to ‘think again’ if two local branches of the bank in were on their possible hit list for closure.
Tom made this comment in the light of reports that Barclays are looking to possibly axe up to a quarter of their entire branch network in the UK and a new emphasis on sharing what premises they keep with supermarket giant ASDA.
“I appreciate that the growth of e-banking has meant that visits to branches plays a declining role in everyday banking, but I do have to say that there are still many people – especially the elderly – who don’t all have internet expertise or connection and rely on their branch for a myriad of day to day transactions. This is particularly the case in rural areas or in towns where Barclays provide the only bank outlet.
“In my constituency, this is true of both Saltburn and Loftus. Closure would either mean customers having to travel to Redcar or, if they are thinking of setting up a base at the Skelton ASDA outlet, having to get to an out of town supermarket that currently has no bus service.
“I would hope that Barclays, in their preparation for this exercise, place an emphasis on factoring in social needs as part of any plan for their Teesside and East Cleveland presence.”