I do try not to be a bore. If my diatribes about Barclays Bank and the state of it’s closed bank branch in Lightwater have bored, I’m sorry.
Here’s a positive update. I’ve noticed that the offending boarded up window has been fixed and the exterior has been cleaned. See before and after photos below. I’ve not had any communication from Barclays subsequent to my lengthy conversation with the complaints team. I don’t know whether my complaining here and to them directly has made the slightest bit of difference. All I know is that the state of the empty bank branch doesn’t offend, as it did previously.
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.
I’m sure you’ll know that Barclays Bank closed it’s branch in Lightwater last month.
Even more disappointing is that they’ve left their bank branch boarded up in an unsightly way. As a business they exhibit no respect to the local business community, or to shoppers and visitors to Lightwater village centre who have to see a boarded up shop.
The least that Barclays Bank could’ve done would be to have left the property in a pleasing aspect. Just boarding it up is not good enough from a major business. I’ll be writing a stern letter to Anthony Jenkins, Barclays chief executive, and possibly copying in a few more senior execs while I’m at it.
Forget the idea that banks see themselves as a community asset. Because they don’t. Bit simplistic I know. Barclays Bank are closing their branch in Lightwater, which serves a population of over 20,000. No interest in rethinking their service offering. So, with the branch closing on March 27th, the ATM closes at the same time.
Mike Duffy, a darn sight more community aware than Barclays, yesterday, had installed a cash point at the front of Duffy’s Budgens in Lightwater. Your trusty blogger was on hand to see the action. Sadly the ATM arrived after I’d left. But I did manage to get an interview with Mike, make a short video, and received some photo’s from Mike and George Duffy.
Gosh it was parky on my midday walk back from Lightwater village centre. Collected some folding money from Barclays ATM. Disappointed to be reminded, by a notice on the ATM, that it will be closed on March 27th. Must find out from the boys and girls at the Lightwater Business Association whether they’ve had any success in retaining the Barclays ATM.
On the plus side, I saw a poster in the window of Oysters Fish ‘n Chips that they’re the county winners for Surrey in National Chip week, organised by the Potato Council.
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.