After my article on my disappointment at the state of the boarded-up ex-Barclays Bank branch, I was involved in a friendly twitter exchange with Barclays Bank, in which they suggested I register a complaint online.
This I did. Pretty quickly afterwards I received a phone call from Barclays customer complaints team. The Barclays view, was that they no longer had responsibility for the property, and that nothing could now be done to meet my complaint.
My complaint, which I stated again, is that the board covering the place where the cash machine was covered by an unpainted piece of plywood, presenting a most unattractive aspect in our village centre.
My second argument was that the contractors removing the Barclays Bank equipment, being presumably agents of Barclays were obviously charged to secure the building on removal of Barclays kit. Therefore, what instructions were given to them, and are they at fault. Also, most commercial leases are repairing leases, inasmuch, that the lessee is required to return the property to its state on the day they signed the lease.
While this point stalled the customer services representative’s argument. It didn’t win the argument. So, it looks like a letter is needed to members of the Barclays Executive Board.
All this palaver for a lick of paint.
The Lightwater Business Association requested Michael Gove’s help in pressing Barclays Bank to retain their branch in Lightwater. Here’s Michael’s letter to Tim Salter, chairman of the LBA.
If Barclays retain their ATM in the village, that will be a small and worthwhile victory.
As I’m sure you know, Barclays have announced their intention to close their branch in Lightwater on the 27th March 2015. I’ve already written about this in detail HERE.
The Lightwater Business Association [LBA] is objecting to the loss of branch banking services in Lightwater. It has organised a petition, online HERE, which is also accessible through www.lightwaterlocal.co.uk, and also in most local shops in Lightwater. Do please register your support by signing the petition.
Writing to Anthony Jenkins, the CEO of Barclays Bank at, 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP, the LBA received a reply to facilitate a meeting with the Barclays Community Leader, Matthew Bell, at the Barclays Bank in Camberley.
That meeting took place last week between Tim Salter, chairman of the LBA, Mike Duffy of Duffy’s Budgens, and Karen Whelan, Chief Executive of Surrey Heath Borough Council. The result of which was disappointing in that Matthew Bell said that the closure of the branch was continuing. To which the LBA have written again to Anthony Jenkins, presenting their case in greater detail. Here’s that letter,
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.
The Lightwater Business Association [LBA] has asked for a meeting with Barclays Bank to understand why their branch in Lightwater is due to close on March 27th 2015.
The LBA is offering to help Barclays to keep their branch open with ways to increase business at the branch. So far Barclays has not responded. This offer and more was made by Mike Duffy in an interview on BBC Radio Surrey this morning.
Well done to Mike Duffy, he presented his arguments succinctly, mentioning that the LBA is backing on online petition to Barclays objecting to the closure
I’ve just added my name to the petition. Add your name to the petition.
I bank with Barclays, so that’s why I received a letter today informing me that the Lightwater branch will close on Friday 27th March 2015.
Disappointing and annoying news. I guess even lucky Lightwater is not immune from changes. Below is part of Barclays letter to me. They recommend using Knaphill branch, but it has very poor parking. I expect my chum Surinder at Lightwater Post Office will b e doing more business.
This is taken from – The Epicurean Dealmaker – the excellent blog of a contrarian and pseudonymous investment banker.