News Posted in Local Developments, News.

Shock as village bank to close

CUSTOMERS have spoken of their disappointment after it was announced a bank branch is set to shut its doors.


Barclays in East Wittering will be closing in December.


The branch in Shore Road is one of only two remaining banks left in the area.


Neighbouring businessman, Steve Burges, the owner of Color for more than  10 years, condemned the decision.


He said: “I bank at Barclays at the moment. It’s going to ruin all of us. That’s our daily banking and they’re just taking it away.


“Where do I go to get my change now or pay in cheques? I might have to stop accepting cheques but the older people like writing them out still.


“People say to go to Chichester, but my shop operates six days a week, when the banks are open, so how can I do that?


“I have no choice but to use the Post Office now, as Barclays operates through them.”


Owner of the Splits bakery, Lorraine Edney, 46, said: “This closure is a massive inconvenience. It will limit us to where we can get change from. It will affect our customers.


“This is a village where people choose to live for retirement. Firstly, NatWest has closed and now Barclays – these are two of the major players.


“This is a very traditional village and for our customers, it’s really a major deal.”


Senior counter assistant, Janet Tucker, 69, said: “Resources in the village are already being stretched, we’ve lost our local pub and the cash machines are always empty, especially in the summer.


“The locals are the people who support the village in the winter, giving us a nice trade every day. To take things away will be difficult. People are going to really struggle, it will be terrible for them.”


Villagers Rod and Susie Adams have already switched banks.


Rod said: “It was obvious. We knew it was writing on the wall weeks ago. HSBC closed not long ago and now we’re just left with Lloyds. We’ve moved to Santander now.”


Susie added: “It’s a shame Barclays are closing. It will have a huge effect on the area because of the older generation. They cannot just get on buses to Chichester and they aren’t into internet banking. ”


In a statement, a Barclays spokesman said: “We do not take the decision to close any branch lightly and we are committed to adhering to the UK Access to Banking Standard.


“Customers are able to undertake everyday transactions at any Post Office. We urge any customer who is concerned about how to undertake their banking once the branch closes to contact us so that we can discuss alternative banking options.


“The staff at East Wittering have been offered positions at other branches nearby.”


Nigel Taylor, community banking director for Barclays in Sussex, said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.


“We hope that the availability of the branches in Chichester, Selsey and Bognor Regis, and access to services at the nearby post office in Kingfisher Parade, along with our range of digital channels, will help to ease the transition for our customers.”

Posted in Local Developments, News.