Barclays shuts its doors on Maida Vale
By Ellie O'Donnell
Residents in Maida Vale are calling on Barclays Bank not to close the Elgin Avenue branch and ATM.
Barclays' decision to close its Maida Vale branch could leave vulnerable locals with no choice but to use other overcrowded branches during the pandemic, councillors have warned.
“The planned closure of the branch will leave our most vulnerable neighbours – elderly people, disabled people, or people without access to the Internet – without access to banking services. Sending people across London to crowd other branches is unsafe during a pandemic,"said Westminster Labour council representatives for Maida Vale including Nafsika Butler-Thalassis, Geoff Barraclough and Rita Begum.
A photo posted on Westminster Labour's website in October, shows long queues forming outside the Edgware Road branch.
“Barclays are not listening to local people,” they said.
“At the very least, Barclays should commit to keeping the branch open until the pandemic has run its course so that local residents are not obliged to task the risk of travelling to access essential services.”
Barclays plan to close the branch and ATM on 11 December, leaving some worried about the lack of easy access to ATMs in the area, since it was also announced that another ATM situated in the local Post Office is one of 600 to be closed by March 2022.
In recent years the road also saw the closure of a Natwest branch and ATM.
There are currently three alternative Barclays branches within 1.3 miles, including St Johns Wood, Finchley Road, and Edgware Road and, according to Barclays, residents have access to 19 free-to-use ATMs within 1 mile.
A spokesperson for Barclays told Their Story News that there had been a 19 per cent reduction in counter transactions in the Maida Vale branch in the last two years to March 2020. They said that there are 124 customers that use the branch exclusively for their banking and that Barclays plan to contact these customers to support them in finding other options to the Elgin Avenue branch.
“We will work with our customers and provide alternative options to ensure they can continue to manage their money and receive financial expertise when required,” they said.
“The decision to close a branch is never an easy one."
Barclays say they do not plan on making anyone redundant as a result of the closure.
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