Community’s concern over branch closure in once-thriving retail unit

Coun Geoff Almond, right, with residents and business owners in Fingerpost.
Coun Geoff Almond, right, with residents and business owners in Fingerpost.
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Concerned residents and community leaders are calling for Barclays Bank bosses to re-think plans to close its branch in Fingerpost.

The unit, which is based within the area’s main shopping centre, is set to close on August 1.

Bosses say the move was prompted by a dramatic drop in the number of customers using the branch.

But campaigners say it will have a devastating impact on elderly residents and nearby businesses.

Bette Yates, secretary of the Fingerpost Tenants and Residents’ Association, said: “There are a lot of elderly residents who are worried about this, people who will find it very difficult to get to the next nearest branch.

“Fingerpost shopping centre was once a very thriving area but it has really taken a hit lately.”

Town centre ward councillior Geoff Almond also expressed deep concern about the effect of the closure on the area’s elderly.

However, bank bosses say anyone with a Barclays account will be able to access some basic service at the nearby Post Office.

Maria Branigan, community leader for Barclays in Merseyside said: “Barclays is constantly reviewing the way we work to ensure we can deliver a service that is shaped around the way customers are choosing to carry out their banking.

“The way our customers interact with us is changing and in cases like Fingerpost, where there is low customer footfall and the type of transactions carried out in the branch are limited we need to balance this with ensuring we provide access where our customers want us.

“Customers will not need to take any action as all account details, sort code, account numbers and direct debits will remain the same.”

A bank spokesman said the branch’s two full-time staff would now take up positions at the bank’s town centre office.