Councillors fight to save Barclays bank in Seaford from closure

Councillors in Seaford are fighting to save the town’s Barclays bank, which is due to close in October.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 12:36 pm
The Barclays branch in Seaford

The bank said it had decided to close the branch in Broad Street because of a decline in customer numbers, with counter transactions falling by nine per cent in the two years to March 2020.

But councillors said that residents, particularly older people, value having in-person contact with their bank.

Councillor Carolyn Lambert said: “I have contacted Barclays Bank to point out that Seaford is not only the largest town

in Lewes District but that it has a high population of older people not all of whom are connected to the internet or who are comfortable with online banking services.

“They value face to face contact with their bank.

“This group of residents are also particularly vulnerable to scams which makes it even more important that they can

access bank services directly.

“I am also very concerned about this large scale building in the town centre being left empty.”

Councillor Stephen Gauntlett added: “Local organisations such as the church use banking services provided by Barclays.

“It is not appropriate to ask volunteers to carry sums of cash.

“As we discovered during the vaccine rollout, many residents simply cannot afford to travel to Eastbourne or Brighton to access banking facilities.”

The councillors are due to meet with bank staff to discuss their concerns.

When the Seaford branch closes on October 29, the nearest Barclays branches for customers in the town will be in Terminus Road, Eastbourne, or North Street in Brighton.

Everyday transactions can also be completed at the Post Office in Church Street, Seaford.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one.

“However, customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking.

“As a result, we are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK.

“This is reflected at the Seaford branch where there has been a nine per cent reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020.

“In addition, almost eight out of ten of our customers at the branch are also using different ways to bank.

“We will work with our customers and provide alternative options to ensure they can continue to manage their money and receive financial expertise when required.”

The spokesperson confirmed that no one would be made redundant as a result of the branch closure – with colleagues being offered alternative roles in the bank.