Mason Moore & Vaughan Moore | 29 July 2022
BARCLAYS have revealed that their high street bank branch on Market Place in Hinckley town centre is to finally close its doors for good this November.
The banking firm have made the news known by sending letters to their customers in the borough, as well as placing a poster in the front window announcing the closure.
Both the letter, and notice on the storefront, states that it will open its doors for the very last time on Thursday, 3 November – and it will shut at 12pm on the day.
In a statement issued to the Hinckley Free Press, a Barclays spokesman explained that it is ‘never an easy decision’ for them to close a branch, but they are making the decision to do so as customers are ‘increasingly’ using alternatives to branches.
They further added: “We are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK. This is reflected at our Hinckley branch, where we’ve seen a 66 per cent reduction in counter transactions in the last 12 months, when compared to March 2020.
“91 per cent of customers who visit the branch are also using different ways to bank and only 13 customers use the branch exclusively for their banking.”
Plans to stay part of the community
In part of the letter sent out to customers, Barclays stressed that they will “still be a part of the community in Hinckley” – and customers can share their thoughts on how they can do this by speaking to a staff member inside the branch before its closure.
It reads: “We’ll still be part of your community in Hinckley. We’re just finalising the details of when and where we’ll be based to support you with your banking, but in the meantime we’re keen to hear what you think.
“We’ll be speaking with customers, the local MP, council members, charities, community groups and local businesses over the coming weeks to hear any thoughts and feedback on this change, for us to respond to.
“To share your thoughts, please visit the branch and speak to a member of our team.
“Two weeks before our Hinckley branch closes, we’ll share a summary of this feedback, as well as what we’ll be doing to continue to support you and the community.”
Council Leader deeply disappointed
Council Leader for Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, Stuart Bray, has told the Free Press that he is “deeply disappointed” with the announcement of the closure.
“I am deeply disappointed by this decision which appears to be a sign of the times as more and more people move to other ways of doing their banking.
“However, there are many people who still prefer and rely on going into branches and for those this will be a huge blow. There’s also a knock-on effect for the rest of the town if people are no longer coming in to the town centre to do their banking.”
Coun. Bray stated that he has spoken previously about the possibility of opening a “banking hub” in town, for banks to come together to maintain an in-person presence.
He added that the Borough Council are already in touch with Barclays about this, hinting at the bank’s aforementioned plans of ‘staying a part of the community’.
‘Huge blow to local community’
Coun. Michael Mullaney (Lib Dem, De Montfort), who has previously slammed bank branches being axed, and collected signatures to prevent them in past times, has described Barclays’ decision to close in the next four months as a “huge blow”.
He said: “This is a huge blow to the local community. Bank branches are a vital local service. Not everyone can bank online so there is a still a need for in-person banking.
“Last year I brought a motion to Hinckley and Bosworth Council calling on the government to impose stricter rules on the big banks to stop them closing branches.
“It’s awful that Barclays are proposing to close the Hinckley branch. Even now I hope they will change their mind and keep the Hinckley Barclays bank branch open.”
Once closed, the nearest Barclays bank branches will be on Abbey Street in Nuneaton town centre, Humberstone Gate in Leicester, and High Street in Coventry.
The last bank branches to close came last year, when Santander pulled out of the town centre in July, and Halifax followed just months later by closing in October.