Muswell Hill Barclays closure 'yet another blow for our high street'

Old Barclays buildings on roundabout

Eight million people in the UK rely on cash. - Credit: Google Maps

Barclays Bank is set to shut its Muswell Hill branch this summer, just months after Lloyds closed.

The branch at 223 Muswell Hill Broadway will close on Friday June 24, sparking concern from MP Catherine West about how this loss will impact vulnerable people.

At the Muswell Hill branch, Barclays saw a 13% reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020.

Barclays said that at the branch 90% of customers are using alternative ways to do their banking, including on the phone, online and via a mobile app.

MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Catherine West said: “It’s yet another blow for our high street.

"It’s also terrible for our small businesses who need to be able to deposit cash safely and for customers, especially elderly and vulnerable people, who trust knowledgeable branch staff. 

"Eight million people in this country still rely on cash. This relentless programme of bank closures only widens inequality by accelerating the move towards a cashless society." 

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Barclays told the MP that it is "confident" that access to banking remains sufficient in the community. Transactions can be completed at any Post Office, with the closest located at 420 Muswell Hill Broadway.

It said there are more than 15 free-to-use ATMs within a mile, the nearest being Nationwide and Halifax. The closest Barclays branches are at 8 The Broadway, Crouch End which is 1.5 miles away and Noel Park, 62 High Street, Wood Green which is two miles away.

The bank promised it will personally contact the 148 customers who regularly use the Muswell Hill branch to "discuss their options and guide them through alternative ways to bank".

Muswell Hill Traders Association believes the move will hurt small businesses who cannot afford a card reader.

"Where can they process their cash takings if the bank across our Muswell Hill high street is now shut?" Deanna Bogdanovic said.

The association said businesses are having to start late or close early, or to close at peak times, to take cash to banks further away.

A spokesperson from Barclays said: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one. However, customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking. As a result, we are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK."