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Barclays pledges to retain branches in remote areas

Barclays has announced it will not shut branches in remote areas or where they are the last operating bank in town.

This means the branch in Harleston will remain open for at least another two years as part of the bank’s commitment to the communities in which it operates.

The branch in Diss is not classed as the last in town or a remote branch, but Barclays has confirmed it has no plans to close it.

Barclays Bank in Eye, which shut in September last year.
Barclays Bank in Eye, which shut in September last year.

It means that more than 100 branches across the country will be ring-fenced so that they remain open until at least October 2021.

The bank is trialling how it can work with customers and communities, including MPs, councillors and business groups, to see if customer demand can be increased and help make the branches more viable in the long run.

Part of the trial will include flexible opening hours and making technology available to extend services such as video banking.

Adam Rowse, managing director of branch-based banking at Barclays, said: “We are constantly exploring new ways to evolve the role of the branch.

“By maintaining last in town or remote branches over the next two years and working with the community, we hope to increase demand and keep these branches viable.

“We also recognise that there are opportunities to support customers with access to cash where there is no branch or ATM nearby.”

The bank will introduce a cashback scheme enabling customers to withdraw cash at businesses in remote areas where there is no branch or ATM alternative within 1km.

This will launch in more than 200 locations from January 2020.

“By behaving differently, we hope to see a real difference in how customers interact with us,” added Mr Rowse.

Meanwhile, the former branch on Broad Street in Eye, is to turn into a women's health hub.

Barclays said it remains “committed to the post office framework” and customers and businesses will still be able to pay in cash, cheques and check their balance – but the facility for over-the-counter cash withdrawals will end from January 2020.

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