County Councillor for Melton Constable division Steffan Aquarone has today slammed Barclays for closing the last bank branch in Holt, leaving local residents without access to counter services or ATM machines.
It comes as Barclays made the announcement regarding the Holt branch closure, following several other closures in the North Norfolk area including Aylsham and Wells-Next-The-Sea.
Local residents and traders alike are deeply distressed to hear of this branch closure, meaning they will have no access to cash - an essential method of managing money for a number of people and businesses in these stringent, challenging times.
Commenting, Steffan Aquarone said:
“I have written to the Chief Executive of Barclays, Matt Hammerstein, to express my sincere concern at this closure and its impact on local residents.
“It is my belief that banks have a duty to make sure that all everyone can have access to banking services and I have urged Barclays to reconsider this decision, or at the very least maintain their ATM machines at the location.
Councillor Aquarone has also written to the Chief Executives of all the other major banks to call on them to work together on bringing a Bank Hub to Holt – a concept trialled in a variety of locations including Essex, Glasgow and Devon.
“Bank Hubs are where banks work jointly to offer cash services on high streets, with spaces for people to speak to their own bank. They’ve worked well in a range of areas and Holt would be a perfect candidate – not least because of how many surrounding villages there are.
“Hundreds of my constituents in Melton Constable rely on the town for their weekly needs including access to cash, as well as counter services. The rural economy is absolutely vital to our country, but the residents and businesses of these communities are constantly being ignored and overlooked by big businesses.”