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Mass closures of bank branches is having a devastating impact on the elderly

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Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has met with Barclays Bank officials to discuss access to services for the elderly following the closure of various local banks.

The Stroud branch closed its doors in January 2022 and the bank responded by opening a Barclays Local site in The Sub Rooms on Tuesdays. Due to popularity, it has been renewed for a further 12 months.

Bailie met with Head of Corporate Relations in the area Jonathan Brenchley and other staff at the Sub Rooms, with topics focused on local bank closures and what it means for customers. 

“In our area and around the country, the overwhelming shift to online banking means town centre branches are not coming back. I know this is upsetting for some but I will not mismanage expectations. I will meet with all banks and try to find realistic ways to help the situation,” said Bailie.

“I raised issues of poor transport links in our rural patch and with the hub being in Stroud, there are other bits of the constituency which have no local banking apart from the Post Office. I am satisfied that if we can provide evidence of need in an area, Barclays will consider mobile support.”

“I am happy to raise awareness about the Sub Rooms Barclays hub. It is important that local people know of this resource, that there is somebody who will help them and that it will be around for some time yet.”

“I also raised issues of poor transport links in our rural patch and with the hub being in Stroud, there are other parts of the constituency which have no local banking apart from the Post Office. I am satisfied that if we can provide evidence of need in an area, Barclays will consider mobile support.”

Barclays has said it would work with the Stroud MP and parish councils to explore whether mobile banking is needed in other areas like Dursley and whether banking vans may be beneficial.

Bailie has also said that there was a long discussion about local small businesses and retail. 

“Businesses needing to bank in cash are encouraged to cash-in at local post offices. Barclays said they have collection services for some businesses, rules have changed on cash back facilities and work is also being done to introduce ‘smart ATMs’ where people can deposit money as well as withdrawing it.”

She added: “I am grateful to everybody who got in touch about this issue. I continue to be worried about the loss of banks, particularly for the elderly, so I will support local people through this process in any way I can.”

(Barclays Local is open in the Sub Rooms from 09:30-16:30 on Tuesdays).

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