Seaton postmaster gives Barclays stamp of disapproval

PUBLISHED: 07:01 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:35 17 October 2019

Marcus Hartnell outside Seaton Post Office. Picture: Chris Carson

Marcus Hartnell outside Seaton Post Office. Picture: Chris Carson

Archant

Seaton's Postmaster has condemned Barclays' decision to stop allowing its customers to make cash withdrawals at post offices from next year.

Marcus Hartnell said the move was 'outrageous' and showed the bank was putting profit before customers.

He told The Herald: "Post offices remain at the heart of our communities across East Devon and with banks continuing to close branches, it is essential that people are able to access vital services such as cash withdrawals, bill payments and postal services.

"Barclays closed 200 branches over a two-year period, with just two remaining in East Devon.

"Many older and disabled customers rely on post offices and will find it difficult to use other facilities to withdraw cash.

"I shall be writing to Barclays asking them to rethink this decision, and I urge their customers in East Devon to do the same."

However Mr Hartnell, who provides post office services at his WH Smith Local shop in Harbour Road has welcomed news that the post office has reached a new banking agreement with 28 other UK banks. It will ensure that millions of their customers continue to have national, free access to everyday banking services, he said.

Mr Hartnell is urging people to express their views about the decision by writing to Barclays' chief executive officer, Jes Staley, at 1 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HP.

A spokeswoman for Barclays told The Herald: "Barclays is announcing a number of commitments to support customers and communities with access to banking services.

"As part of its commitment, Barclays will also introduce a cashback scheme enabling customers to withdraw cash at businesses in remote towns and areas where there is no branch or ATM alternative within 1km. This will launch in over 200 locations from January 2020."

"From today, the bank promises not to close branches in remote areas, or where it is the last bank in town for the next two years, as part of its commitment to the communities in which it operates. This will see over 100 branches ring-fenced and remain open until at least October 2021."

"In addition, Barclays is stepping up efforts to avoid closures of last in town or remote branches."

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