'Extremely disappointing': West Hampstead Barclays bank to close
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The closure of Barclays bank in West Hampstead has been met with concern from the local community.
The branch in West End Lane is set to close on June 25, amid fears over excluding the elderly and people without internet access.
A West Hampstead neighbourhood group called the decision “extremely disappointing”, while a local councillor raised fears over its impact on disabled residents.
Barclays said there was a 24% fall in transactions in the two years up to March 2020, and that only 10 regular customers use the branch as their sole method for doing their banking.
Keith Moffitt, co-chair of the Fortune Green and West Hampstead Neighbourhood Development Forum, said: “A bank branch is one of the most important facilities in a community like West Hampstead, and it's extremely disappointing to see our final branch go, having lost NatWest and HSBC many years ago.
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“The branch is in a prominent location and the neighbourhood development forum is keen to see it replaced in a way that benefits our local community.”
The next nearest Barclays branches are in Hampstead High Street, Finchley Road, and Cricklewood Broadway. The nearest post office is in Sherriff Road, West Hampstead.
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Cllr Shiva Tiwari (Lab, West Hampstead) called the closure “very disappointing” and that he feared for disabled residents, some of whom may struggle with online banking.
Cllr Tiwari said: “This closure decision is clearly a commercial judgement from Barclays and not one that is in the WH community’s best interests - furthermore, it is certainly not additive to overriding ambitions about increasing the focus on, and facilities within, neighbourhoods and local communities in this post-pandemic world.”
A Barclays spokesperson 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.
“This is reflected at the West Hampstead branch where there has been a 24 per cent reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020. In addition, nine out of ten of our customers at the branch are also using different ways to bank.”
Barclays said it “did not intend” to make anyone redundant with the closure, and that staff would be offered alternative roles.