Anger as Frodsham is set to lose another bank from its high street

Reporter:

David Triggs

Another major bank is to disappear from Frodsham's high street. 

Barclays have announced plans to close their branch in the town on February 23 of next year. 

The move comes after a spate of other bank closures in Frodsham, notably HSBC last year, and the axing of NatWest only last month.

Barclays said it was a "tough decision" to close the branch and blamed the move on a decline in customers as more people switch to online banking. 

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury is hoping the branch can be saved and has written to the chief executive of Barclays Bank and the business secretary Greg Clark calling for an urgent rethink. 

Mr Amesbury said it was "unacceptable" that customers from Frodsham would have to travel to Widnes Simms Cross, Stockton Heath or Ellesmere Port if they wanted to call into a Barclays bank once the Frodsham one closes. 

The Labour MP said: "Crossing the bridge to Widnes will incur Frodsham residents an extra £4 just to do their banking, not to mention the huge inconvenience it will cause.

“If they’re using public transport they will face journeys of up to an hour each way, with sizeable walks in-between bus and train changes.”

He added: “Every community is different. Frodsham is semi-rural with a large percentage of elderly residents and it’s now bordered by a toll bridge.

“Areas like Frodsham don’t have the transport links or even the broadband speeds for Internet banking that you’d find in major urban areas.

“These are special circumstances, and I’m calling on Barclays to rethink this urgently and not abandon this community, rather than simply adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the way it does business.”

Barclays said they do not take the decision to close any branch lightly. 

Lisa McCormick, Barclays community banking director for the area, said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices. At Barclays Frodsham branch, customer usage has continued to decline, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it.

"We hope that the availability of our other Barclays branches at Widnes Simms Cross, Stockton Heath, Ellesmere Port and access to services at the local Post Office currently located at 79 Main Street, Frodsham, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”

Barclays are urging any customers concerned about how to undertake their banking once the branch closes to contact them now so alternative banking options can be discussed. 

The bank will also look to host ‘teach and teach’ sessions individually or in a group for any customer wishing to explore digital banking. 

Email:

david.triggs@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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