Posted: Mon 27th Mar 2023

Consumer watchdog responds to news Barclays is to close 14 bank branches including Mold

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 27th, 2023


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Consumer watchdog Which? has responded to news that Barclays is to close 14 banks including its last remaining branch in Flintshire.

Barclays Bank is to close the 14 branches this summer, adding to the 41 already scheduled to close in 2023.

The move comes as part of the bank’s ongoing cost-cutting measures and shift towards digital services, which have accelerated during the pandemic.

The latest closures will impact the banks branch in Mold, as reported by Deeside.com last week, it will close on Friday 30 June 2023. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Barclays said that with an increasing number of customers opting for mobile, online, and telephone banking services, the bank “has decided to close the branch after a thorough analysis of usage patterns and alternative banking methods. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌”

In 2021, 91% of the Mold branch users also utilised the bank’s app, online, and phone banking services. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Only 21 customers relied solely on this branch for their banking needs, while 14% of the branch’s customers visited other nearby branches within the past 12 months. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The nearest branches to Mold are now in Wrexham, Chester and Rhyl.

Barclays said: “Our local leadership teams look at how branches are used before making the decision to close a branch, which is then agreed at national level before we make it public.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Yet despite the impeding closure, the bank has said it “remains committed” to supporting the local community. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In a document circulated to customers the bank said: “We want to reassure you that we’re here to help.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We’ll stay in your community and you’ll be able to talk to us in person.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We’re finalising the details of where we’ll be based, and when, to support you with your banking, and we‘ll share the details locally once confirmed.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We’ll be available to help you with things like day-to-day banking queries and helping you manage your money, though there won’t be access to cash at this site.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Jenny Ross, Money Editor at consumer watchdog Which? said:

“Bank branch closures don’t just make access to cash more difficult for the millions of people across the country who rely on it, but also cuts vital in-person banking services, which are particularly important for customers who are not ready or able to bank online.”

“Schemes introduced by the banking industry to protect these services, such as banking hubs, are a good start in plugging gaps left by the removal of physical branches, but they must be rolled out much more quickly if consumers are to feel their benefits.”

“Also of concern is the prospect of cash users having to fork out their own money just to make withdrawals. The government must look again at proposals to introduce guaranteed minimum levels of free access to cash.”

 

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