‘Last bank in town’ launches campaign to keep its doors open
BARCLAYS has launched an initiative in Barnard Castle and Middleton-in-Teesdale focused on working with the local community to keep the “last bank in town” open.
The initiative is exploring opportunities of working more closely with communities to understand how customers and townspeople use a physical branch in the 21st century, and to test whether by working in direct partnership, local branch banking can be sustainable over the long term.
A community event was held at the bank on Friday, February 14, where people could meet staff and discuss ideas, while also getting key advice from police about online fraud.
Richard Smalley, managing director for Barclays Local, said: “In both Barnard Castle and Middleton-in-Teesdale we believe there is real appetite among businesses and the local community to support us in keeping the branch open, while acknowledging that many customers are choosing alternative ways to undertake their banking such as mobile, online and telephony services.
“In order to keep both Barnard Castle and Middleton-in-Teesdale branches open, we’re asking the community to get behind us and speak to us for more information.”
Mr Smalley continued: “We also understand not everyone wants to manage their finances digitally, that’s why we’ll have specialists in these branches to support people with more complex financial needs such as buying a home, saving for university and planning for retirement.
“Our ambition is to have an innovative and sustainable suite of branches that exist alongside multi-channel banking options.”
Julie Harburn has been appointed as the dedicated branch manager and is looking forward to welcoming both new and existing customers to the Barnard Castle branch.
Dehenna Davison, MP for Teesdale visited the Barnard Castle branch to meet the team and formally launch the initiative during the community event.
She said: “I’m pleased that Barclays is not only retaining the last bank in Barnard Castle and Middleton-in-Teesdale but are also tailoring its services to meet local needs. This is excellent news and I hope the local community supports Barclays to help secure the long-term future of both branches.”
Barclays has installed a video banking facility at the branch which provides customers with greater access to Barclays specialists for more complex enquiries.
Barclays Digital Eagles are offering in-branch activities such as helping to raise awareness of the skills to stay safe in a digital age, alongside colleague-led seminars to assist with ongoing financial management planning.
Other initiatives Barclays is considering to support customers’ banking needs include introducing a more flexible presence or ‘pop-up’ locations enabling Barclays to have a presence in offices, universities and colleges, community centres and more rural communities, in line with the changing demands of where customers choose to do their banking.