MP backs Seaton Postmaster’s Barclays protest

Seaton Postmaster Marcus Hartnell (left) with MPP Neil Parish. Picture Seaton PO

Seaton Postmaster Marcus Hartnell (left) with MPP Neil Parish. Picture Seaton PO - Credit: Archant

Seaton’s MP has backed the town’s postmaster in criticising Barclays for preventing its customer making cash withdrawals at post offices from next year.

Neil Parish, who represents the Tiverton and Honiton Constituency, says he fully agrees that the bank's decision is 'unjustifiable'.

Following a meeting with Marcus Hartnell, who provides post office services at his WH Smith local shop in Harbour Road, Seaton, Mr Parish has written to Barclays' urging them to reverse the decision.

He told Mr Hartnell: "I fully agree that the Barclays' decision is unjustifiable and will deprive many older and vulnerable customers of a vital service in rural areas like East Devon. Let's hope we get Barclays to see sense."

In his letter to Barclays CEO Jes Staley Mr Parish writes: "My community is extremely disappointed to learn of Barclays' intention to end the current agreement with the post office that allows constituents to withdraw cash from their local post office branches. This change will only add to the cash crisis many of the most vulnerable and elderly in our communities are currently facing.

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"Some 3,312 high street bank and building society branches' closed between January 2015 and August 2019 - at least 481 of which were Barclays branches.

"This unsustainable rate of closure has left many communities with little or no access to face-to-face banking services - with some area being left with very few, or even zero, bank branches.

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"Data from Link shows that over 500 ATMs were being closed every month throughout 2018 - further removing access points where residents can manage and access their money. Just after these statistics were released a spokesperson for UK finance said: ' This is why all the high street banks have arranged for everyday banking service to be available through 11,500 post office across the country'"

"You will therefore understand why there is such a deep level of anger and concern at Barclays' latest decision to withdraw services form post office branches.

"I would stirringly impress upon you the need to review and reverse this decision to prevent any of our constituents from being further side-lined in our local and national economies."

"I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency".

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