Barclays to close 15 more bank branches this year - here's the full list, plus alternatives

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  • jbrassy
    jbrassy Posts: 628
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    Section62 said:
    etienneg said:
    I'm still wondering why people seem to require frequent access to a branch.
    When a bank freezes your account and demands you go to a branch with documentation before they will unlock it, then you will have an idea of one reason why.
    That has never happened to me and I doubt it's something that happens frequently to other people. I think I visit bank branches once or twice a year. Times have moved on.  
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,613
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    jbrassy said:
    Section62 said:
    etienneg said:
    I'm still wondering why people seem to require frequent access to a branch.
    When a bank freezes your account and demands you go to a branch with documentation before they will unlock it, then you will have an idea of one reason why.
    That has never happened to me and I doubt it's something that happens frequently to other people. I think I visit bank branches once or twice a year. Times have moved on.  

    My dad lost capacity both physcially an mentally and he had to go into a branch to confirm his identity.  Happes to people of all ages.
    And if you lose mental capacity, there is a chance you can't use an internet related or telephone related solution provided by the bank.
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,880
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    jbrassy said:
    Section62 said:
    etienneg said:
    I'm still wondering why people seem to require frequent access to a branch.
    When a bank freezes your account and demands you go to a branch with documentation before they will unlock it, then you will have an idea of one reason why.
    That has never happened to me and I doubt it's something that happens frequently to other people. I think I visit bank branches once or twice a year. Times have moved on.  

    For you yes, for many yes, but not for everyone. There are still a significant number of people that need branches - even if it's only once or twice a year - it can be a hassle for those with limited transport options and/or mobility issues to be able to get to a branch that today is already 20 miles away, and with more closures could be even further. Yes it's a considerably lower number than 10-20 years ago, but those people are still needing access.
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • Rob5342
    Rob5342 Posts: 1,331
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    etienneg said:
    I'm still wondering why people seem to require frequent access to a branch.
    So am I. Online banking is hardly new, Lloyds offered it nearly quarter of a century ago so people have had plenty of time to get used to it. I have a few relatives in their 80s and they all bank online.

  • username
    username Posts: 649
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    WillPS said:
    The local branch in my village closed three or four years ago, then the one in the next local town, and now the next nearest two are on the closure list. It'll now be a 20 mile trek to get to a branch if I needed one. The last time I was in one a few months ago to make a deposit, it was staffed by two people, one wandering around with an ipad, one behind a counter. If buildings/staff and rents/rates are so expensive - open more banking hubs with multi-brands sharing a building. Five hubs could be run with 1 staff member attending each 1 day a week. They've tried a few, but the appetite for them seems muted, but it's a way of cutting costs while still keeping a basic local service (Over and above what you can get at the post office).


    Those 'Banking Hubs' are just glorified Post Offices. All they can do is withdrawals, deposits, balance enquiries etc. They can't resolve account issues unless you happen to turn up on a day when a representative from your bank is in.
    Perhaps what these banking hubs really also need is a machine from each bank (like the type you will get in Barclays in the branch) for which you can manage your account, pay in and a telephone that is part of the bank's network so that people can still talk to a representative if you need to when it's not your bank's rep turn to sit at the shared desk? Effectively a bank presence but without a person on the 'off' days.

    Surely with all these branch closures they are swimming in excess machines from branches and so it shouldn't be that hard to deploy?!

    I am surprised people even do trust the PO for banking given the fact that they banged up a load of sub postmasters for false accounting, yet their software was poorly written that was causing the branches to get unaccounted for losses and it was covered up extensively.

    And that's before the fact that you are often in a line 10 deep with someone wanting to post the entire ebay warehouse or return half of their wardrobe to Asos (!).

    I get people don't necessarily visit banks often these days but it is a case of use it or lose it.
  • TheBanker
    TheBanker Posts: 1,624
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    username said:

    Perhaps what these banking hubs really also need is a machine from each bank (like the type you will get in Barclays in the branch) for which you can manage your account, pay in and a telephone that is part of the bank's network so that people can still talk to a representative if you need to when it's not your bank's rep turn to sit at the shared desk? Effectively a bank presence but without a person on the 'off' days.
    But why? You can telephone from the comfort of your own home - no need to go to a 'hub' to make a phone call. And you can deposit/withdraw over the Post Office counter. The only advantage of a machine would be not needing to queue. Perhaps the Post Office will develop a machine that allows deposits to any bank account (wouldn't be difficult) if they start to have problems with excessive queues in the hubs. 

    For you yes, for many yes, but not for everyone. There are still a significant number of people that need branches - even if it's only once or twice a year - it can be a hassle for those with limited transport options and/or mobility issues to be able to get to a branch that today is already 20 miles away, and with more closures could be even further. Yes it's a considerably lower number than 10-20 years ago, but those people are still needing access.
    Who are these people that 'need' branches? 

    Taking the first branch on the Barclays closure list - Alnwick - Barclays say only 15 customers use this branch regularly as the only way to do their banking. It is simply not viable to pay a lease on a building, maintenance and utility costs, staff costs and insurance for such a small number of people. Especially when the vast majority of transactions can be done another way (and if people don't want to use online services, they can use the phone). If the cost of running the branch was apportioned to the customers who 'need' to use it and charged to their accounts as a monthly fee, they would soon find another way to bank!
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,880
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    TheBanker said:


    Barclays say only 15 customers use this branch regularly as the only way to do their banking.

    That may be the case - that 15 customers use it 'regularly' - but they don't mention how many use it once or twice a year for ID checks, account opening/closing issues, providing documentation, paying in/withdrawing in relation to an infrequent purchase/sale (eg car/caravan/boat), even using the ATM for a withdrawal or deposit (usually when the bank goes, the ATM goes with it). The bank's definition of 'regularly' is fairly narrow.

    When banks close a branch they'll champion how little it gets used by 'regular' customers, but won't mention those that pop in and out only when they need it a couple of times a year. You don't think the branch had only 15 people walking in once a month for a year do you, while the staff sat around twiddling their thumbs?

    I know it's a use it or lose it, but until you're in the position of needing the branch (Which for all of us online savvy people is rare) do you realise how inconvenient it is to reach one now.
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Posts: 4,880
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    TheBanker said:
    It is simply not viable to pay a lease on a building, maintenance and utility costs, staff costs and insurance for such a small number of people

    And that's why the banking hubs are a good idea - one building shared between 5 big name banks - duplicated over 5 towns - means that each bank can have 5 branches - but only pay for 1 (Ok so the costs would be marginally higher as there'd be staff travel to pay, and no doubt there'd be some kind of management charge and other costs for the five way split - but overall - it would be way cheaper to run 5 hubs rather than 5 branches, and still keep an easy to reach presence over a wider area)
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,613
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    TheBanker said:
    username said:

    Perhaps what these banking hubs really also need is a machine from each bank (like the type you will get in Barclays in the branch) for which you can manage your account, pay in and a telephone that is part of the bank's network so that people can still talk to a representative if you need to when it's not your bank's rep turn to sit at the shared desk? Effectively a bank presence but without a person on the 'off' days.
    But why? You can telephone from the comfort of your own home - no need to go to a 'hub' to make a phone call. And you can deposit/withdraw over the Post Office counter. The only advantage of a machine would be not needing to queue. Perhaps the Post Office will develop a machine that allows deposits to any bank account (wouldn't be difficult) if they start to have problems with excessive queues in the hubs. 

    For you yes, for many yes, but not for everyone. There are still a significant number of people that need branches - even if it's only once or twice a year - it can be a hassle for those with limited transport options and/or mobility issues to be able to get to a branch that today is already 20 miles away, and with more closures could be even further. Yes it's a considerably lower number than 10-20 years ago, but those people are still needing access.
    Who are these people that 'need' branches? 

    Taking the first branch on the Barclays closure list - Alnwick - Barclays say only 15 customers use this branch regularly as the only way to do their banking. It is simply not viable to pay a lease on a building, maintenance and utility costs, staff costs and insurance for such a small number of people. Especially when the vast majority of transactions can be done another way (and if people don't want to use online services, they can use the phone). If the cost of running the branch was apportioned to the customers who 'need' to use it and charged to their accounts as a monthly fee, they would soon find another way to bank!
    I have said this before in other threads but it bears repeating.
    My dad had a form of dementia. He had forgotten his passwords for internet and telephone banking. So how is his identity verified to the bank? By the time he got dementia he had not moved to a smartphone which would verify identity by fingerprint or facial recognition.
    3 years ago, my mum and I were helping him verify his identity to a bank operative on the phone. The operative heard my mum or I prompting him with the answers to some questions so promptly suspended his account. The only way to unblock it was a visit to branch with ID. Which thankfully the branch staff did. Luckily dad could remember basics like name, dob and town in which he lived.
    At the same time we registered the POA he had obtained.
    There will be people in the future like me who don’t have (family) support and will get dementia. How are we supposed to deal with a bank only by internet or phone?
    I am younger than my dad and grew up with technology. Yet i don’t have Face ID setup because the amount of facial hair I have is not constant. I worry the phone won’t recognise me and hence I am locked out of my phone and hence my life. And if I have dementia I am screwed.
    The other issue is loss of mobility. As branches close, and if a branch visit is the only way to solve a problem, customer will have to travel further to visit a branch. People who lose capacity, both physical or mental won’t be able to drive so they will need to take taxis.
    The problem with mobile or part-time branches is with current processes, demand massively outstrips availability. Unless a whole flock of branch staff turn up to complete all the requested appointments.
    Yes this was 3 years ago and banks’ processes might have changed since then but that is what we went through at the time.
    I hope banks, regulators and governments sit down and work out how to provide banking facilities to those who lose mental and/or physical capacity. A method that is safe from fraudsters, hackers and other people taking advantage of vulnerable people and/or people who have lost capacity.

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