Bank closure shows ‘utter contempt’ for town, claims angry MP

Bank closure shows ‘utter contempt’ for town, claims angry MP

by Henry James (April 2021)

THE decision by Barclays to close their Skelmersdale branch in July has been met with dismay by West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper.

The branch is found at the Concourse Shopping Centre, and the MP is claiming Barclays has not done an impact statement before making a decision.

MP Rosie Cooper commented: “It is incredibly disappointing to hear that yet another bank has chosen profits over people and will close its Skelmersdale Branch.

“Barclays blame the closure on a 14% reduction in counter transaction between March 2018 and 2020.

“This clearly still leaves a lot of people using the branch, customers they are now abandoning in the name of profits!

“They don’t appear to have done an impact study as they have asked me what I think the impact on customers and community would be. They should have done this before they made their decision, not arrogantly asking after they announce the closure!”

Utter contempt

MP Cooper continued: “That they only informed me the same day that they wrote to inform customers of the closure shows Barclays utter contempt for Skelmersdale.

“The TSB branch is also due to close in May, at this rate there will be no physical banks left by next year! How are people that cannot or do not use online banking expected to access their accounts now?

“Both Barclays and TSB have suggested their customers can use the nearby Post Office. This is putting all Skelmersdale Banking into one basket and will be one step from no banks at all.

“I have yet again written to the Business Secretary to raise my serious concerns that banking choice and availability is being completely removed. These banks were happy to be propped up by the taxpayer when they were facing bankruptcy but now the banking community appears happy to neglect those very same taxpayers and shut up shop leaving Skelmersdale at even more of a disadvantage.

“The Government need to step in to ensure the banks are actually supporting all their customers, not just the ones that have a smart phone!”

A Barclays spokesperson responded: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one. However, customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking. As a result, we are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK.

 “This is reflected at Skelmersdale branch where over four fifths (87 per cent) 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.”

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