Coulsdon residents are “dismayed” and “disappointed”, after Barclays announced its intention to close its branch on Brighton Road, the last remaining bank in the town.
With NatWest and Lloyds already long gone, it would leave business owners and residents in Coulsdon facing hour-long round trips to Croydon or Wallington to conduct any “physical” banking.
The closure of Barclays could even make Coulsdon close to completely cash-less: the bank branch has one of the town’s two remaining cash machines.
Barclays claim that 92per cent of their branch customers “can use other ways of banking including online and telephone banking”, and that “customers using other methods of banking have increased by 11per cent”.
The bank says that “In the past 12 months, 32per cent of customers have been using other branches”, and that “Only 27 customers use the branch exclusively.”
The East Coulsdon Residents’ Association has written to Barclays to protest against the closure.
“We believe this decision is wrong and not in the interests of a small town like Coulsdon… The decision does not take into consideration that Barclays is the only remaining bank in Coulsdon with one of only two bank cash machines,
“Coulsdon is a viable town centre which unlike many other district centres has very few vacant retail outlets. In the last five years we have had over 2,000 new dwellings and a major increase in the population.”
Charlie King, the chair of ECRA, in his letter to Barclays, says, “As a regular visitor to Coulsdon Town centre I can confirm that there is always a queue outside the branch for most of the time that the branch is open. I would also point out that the opening hours of the branch have considerably diminished. First during covid lockdown by reducing the opening hours to four days, then more recently restricting opening to mornings only on those four days only.
“We would like to express our dismay and disappointment about the announcement that you intend to close the Coulsdon branch of Barclays Bank,” King wrote.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another, with the main road into Coulsdon and the railway line closed on Thursday, when the latest HGV driver managed to wedge their lorry under the rail bridge outside the town.
It took several hours before the lorry could be cleared, and for the railway bridge to be checked for safety.
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