Traders’ fears over bank loss

Barclays in Bispham
Barclays in Bispham
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FEARS have been raised that Bispham will become a ghost town after Barclays announced it was closing its branch in the centre.

Traders say losing the last bank in the village will be disastrous - but bank bosses say customers can access their facilities through the Post Office.

Emma Charnley, co-owner of florist Flowers Galore on Red Bank Road, said: “It’s detrimental to all the businesses in the area.

“Banks help give us some pull to the area.

“Bispham is losing shops and another bank going is not a good sign for us.”

Ian Holland of All 4 Pets in Bispham Market said: “I hope it doesn’t do too much damage. People who have to travel further out of town to a bank will suffer though.”

Another trader, who asked not to be named, said: “The banks make all this profit, then close the very facilities its customers need.

“People stop at the bank and grab a sandwich, a drink, or a newspaper while they’re here.

“It’s disastrous - no bank and an empty unit as well. We’ll be a ghost town.”

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No jobs will be lost as staff will be relocated to neighbouring branches.

Alan Thomas, Barclays Retail area director, said: “The Barclays branch network is one of the largest and most widespread in the UK.

“There are regular changes as we work to ensure we have branches where customers need and use them.

“This often means opening or refurbishing a branch but occasionally the decision is made to close a branch for example where there is low customer use.

“The decision to close Bispham branch has not been taken lightly and we appreciate that it may inconvenience some customers.

“We will work hard to minimise the impact on customers and will help them with the change.

“One alternative to the branch is the arrangement we have in place in which personal customers are able to pay in and take out cash, free of charge at the local Post Office, the nearest of which is situated at Red Bank Road.”

The bank will close in August.

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