MP backs protest over Barclays closure
Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 03 October 2016
Barclays Bank in Lees is to close..
AN MP has joined mounting protests over the closure of a village bank.
Businesses and customers in Lees were shocked when Barclays announced plans to close their High Street branch in November.
Customers will have to travel more than two miles to use the bank's town centre branch or make arrangements with the local post office.
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth is 'extremely disappointed' with Barclays written response.
"I've asked them to think again and meet with me as well as local concerned customers, " she said.
"Barclays is failing to live up to their citizenship and corporate social responsibility commitments.
"Their contingency measures to mitigate against the negative repercussions for local businesses and the local economy are also totally inadequate," she said.
"I understand the changing nature of the banking business, the costliness of maintaining local branches, and the different ways some customers like to bank.
"But the measures Barclays say they will put in place to mitigate the reduced access to financial services in Lees village for those personal customers who, for example, don't like, don't want or who are unable to do their financial transactions online or at the post office are, quite frankly, inadequate.
"Their contingency measures to mitigate against the negative repercussions for local businesses and the local economy are also totally inadequate.
Councillor Hewitt said: "Barclays are showing a lack of concern for the people who are members of the bank.
"In the conversation we had, they said the customer business was going more into telephone and online banking and they said they would put measures in place to help them migrate across.
"It seemed the banking industry wants us to all go online and are forcing the issue by closing high street branches so you have no choice but to use that service instead of face to face interaction."
Long-serving Parish Councillor Barbara Beeley said: "They are not consulting, they are informing.
"To businesses banking their cash takings, this potentially also adds an extra danger. Surely providing those important services could be big businesses way of putting something back into the community?"