Thinking more about Mike Duffy’s excellent interview on BBC Radio Surrey yesterday, I thought how short-sighted of Barclays Bank to close their branch without making any effort to increase business in the branch.
I’ve just answered some questions on the closure to a reporter from the Camberley News. Good on them for picking up on this issue.
Among the comments I made to the Camberley News were,
- We all understand that banking has to adapt to change, this should not mean that it dispenses with its essential role – to accept deposits from customers, use that money to make loans, and provide other financial services to customers, both through a bank branch and the internet.
- Most businesses looking at loss of custom consider innovative ways to attract more business – apparently not so for Banks. Probably because they can make plenty of money through fiddling the Forex rates, and not having to bother with branch banking. Banking is rooted in people’s minds with a physical presence on the High Street.
- I frequently referred to Mike Duffy’s excellent interview with BBC Radio Surrey, where he said the bank branch serves around 20,000 people. This is true, as the 34 & 35 bus service means residents in Bisley, West End, and Bagshot have easy access to the concentration of shops and services in Lightwater – Barclays bank, Boots, Duffy’s Budgens, Hairdressers, Dry Cleaner, George Arthur Butchers, Post Office, Bookmaker, Petrol Station with M&S simply Food, Jeweller, Newsagent, and a Cook shop.
- Consider how Lloyds Bank in Camberley’s Mall has changed, moving away from counters to providing a relaxing environment in which they can offer financial advice to customers. Barclays should consider a similar innovative layout in Lightwater.
I said more, but can’t now remember what I said. I’ll have to buy the newspaper to check.