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Needham Market: Call for action to prevent Barclays branch from closing leaving town with no bank

06:00 24 June 2014

Barclays is to close its bank branch in Needham Market

Barclays is to close its bank branch in Needham Market

Campaigners fighting to prevent a market town from losing its only bank have urged people to write to its chief executive and demand it stays open.

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There has been a bank at the site of the current Barclays branch in Needham Market’s High Street for 270 years.

But now a decision has been taken for it to close in September, despite customers protesting.

District councillors Mike Norris and Wendy Marchant organised a meeting with bank bosses to discuss their concerns.

Mrs Marchant said: “We still want Barclays to stay. Looking at statistics from Suffolk County Council, Needham Market has the second highest elderly population in mid Suffolk and it’s not easy for these customers to get to Stowmarket, with a lot of them not used to going online for their banking.

“Places the size of Eye, which has half the population of Needham, have a Barclays bank, so why can’t Needham Market? There will be a population increase with new housing sites and everybody thinking of buying a house looks for facilities. Having a bank is an asset.

“We are trying to encourage people concerned to write to the chief executive.”

Barclays said it would bring in one of its teams of online banking experts to help customers make the transition to the internet.

Terry Staff, community banking leader for Suffolk and Norfolk, said: “At the meeting on Friday with local councillors we were able to fully explain the reasons for the decision to close our Needham Market branch. We also outlined our support for any customers who may find it more difficult to visit our Stowmarket branch.

“We will be running a Digital Eagle week at our Needham Market branch to support customers to understand how they can use technology to undertake their banking.”

Barclays has said that, despite the branch closing, no members of staff would lose their jobs. Instead, they would be transferred to other branches.

It insisted that the “difficult decision” had been made because around two thirds of the town’s bank customers regularly use other branches.

Mrs Marchant said there were 2,500 homes in the town – a number which was set to increase.

The “digital eagle” sessions will run in the week starting August 11.

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4 comments

  • To carry out banking online a printer is not essential and in any case they can be purchased for about £40. Only a basic laptop, tablet or PC is needed again can be picked up from a about £150 They can also still use their Barclays account at the Post Office

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    BobE

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Things move on and fewer and fewer people use Bank branches. Out of the 2500 how many are adults? How bank bank with Barclays and how many use that branch? I suspect not very many. Most I suspect use it for basic banking services which Barclays customers will still be sable to carry out at the Post Office. They can use their Barclays account to withdraw money , pay in cheques and cash so the impact of closing it will be small (Note Personal banking only) http:www.postoffice.co.ukbranch-banking-services#withdrawals_&_deposits

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    BobE

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Those comments from Mrs Marchant show just how out of touch she is. New home owners will not need to visit a bank. They will do it all online. Also I wouldn't "bank" on Eye Barclay's staying open. As I have said before this is a commercial decision made by a commercial company. They are not a charity or social service. If people want that they can always bank at the Post Office.

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    John Alborough

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Very interested to see what the uptake will be to this statement.“We will be running a Digital Eagle week at our Needham Market branch to support customers to understand how they can use technology to undertake their banking.” After all, it is not just learning how to use technology but the capital cost as well. I suspect most elderly people will not want a mobile phone that has this facility and the cost of getting a computer and printer would be an unnecessary and presumably unwanted expense.

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    DALINE

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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