You may have read in the national press recently that many Barclays branches across the UK are scheduled to close, and I've just discovered that unfortunately the Purley branch is one of them. Here is the statement which Barclays issued recently:
I want to let you know about some changes we are making to banking arrangements in your area. On 2nd December 2020 we will be closing our branch at 953 Brighton Road, Purley.
The decision to close a branch is never an easy one, however, the way we bank today is unrecognisable from 50 years ago when almost every banking transaction took place in a branch. Now, fewer than 10 per cent of transactions take place in a bank branch, and we need to make sure that we are providing our services in ways that best reflect customers’ needs today and into the future. As part of these changes, the role of the physical branch itself is evolving, from somewhere where large numbers of transactions happen behind a counter to a space where specialist financial conversations can take place comfortably.
This ongoing change in behaviour means we are seeing a sustained fall in customer transactions across our network and this is reflected at the Purley branch where there has been a 20 per cent reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020. In addition, we can identify that 90 per cent of affected customers regularly use alternative ways in which to undertake their banking, including via the telephone, online and mobile app.
The closest branch to Purley is at 116 Brighton Road, Coulsdon (1.5 Miles away), we have three alternative branches within three miles.
There are three free-to-use ATMs within 150 metres of the branch, and everyday transactions can also be completed at any Post Office, with the closest located at 940 Brighton Road, Purley (80 metres away).
As customers are banking in different ways that suit their lives today, we are continuing to invest in our services to meet these needs. This means more training for our colleagues so they can offer the skilled financial expertise customers require and more investment in our technology and digital tools to allow Barclays customers to have access at the click of a button or in the palm of their hand.
We appreciate that not all of our customers will adopt change at the same pace, and we remain committed to meeting the needs of all of our customers. We will ensure that everyday banking remains easy and convenient for our customers and will discuss alternative options with our more vulnerable customers.
I would like to reassure you that we do not intend to make anyone redundant as a result of this closure, and our approach is to re-allocate colleagues within the business.
As part of this closure announcement we will follow the Access to Banking Standard. This means all of our local customers will be informed of our decision at least 12 weeks before the closure via letter. We will also make available our Reasons for Closure document. In addition, prior to closure we will proactively engage with personal customers and local businesses about alternative ways they can undertake their banking, with a particular focus on vulnerable customers.
We appreciate you may receive queries from your residents on this matter, and want to make sure you are prepared with the relevant information in this event. As part of this process we would welcome your views on how we can help smooth the transition of this branch closure for local customers.
In particular, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the following questions:
- What do you believe will be the biggest impact of the closure of Purley branch on the local community?
- What do you believe will be the biggest impact of the closure of the Purley branch on customers of the branch?
- What alternative ways to bank do you believe need to be provided to help customers and the community adapt to this change?
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Jon Clowes, the Market Director, Barclays Local - East.
Many local residents, and particularly the elderly, will be very disappointed in this decision even though the Post Office over the road can still be used for routine transactions. Ten years ago, Purley also hosted Natwest, HSBC & Santander branches, but they've all now closed, though most seem to survive longer in Coulsdon & Wallington.- I wonder why? Banks are an important part of the infrastructure of any town because of the footfall they generate for other businesses, so this decision is greatly to be regretted.
Please get in touch by September 15th via firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to provide answers to the questions posed above; I'll then consolidate the answers and send them off to Barclays.
Simon Brew, councillor for Purley & Woodcote ward