Plans to close Whalley’s last remaining bank have been slammed by community leaders.
Barclays’ Whalley branch has been marked for closure and will shut its doors for the last time on May 4th, with customers forced to use alternative branches in Clitheroe, Accrington and Blackburn.
Residents will also have access to the local post office located at 98 King Street, Whalley.
Customers using online and alternative ways of banking has been blamed for the closure, however, local community leaders have reacted with anger to the decision.
Mr Ken Hind, leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council, said: “You can’t obtain a mortgage using a cash machine. It is important that Barclays recognise the nature of the demographic in Whalley. There are a large and growing number of elderly residents in the village, a number of which have chosen to move here to retire - some of which have done so because there are or rather were banking facilities available.”
Billington councillor, Ged Mirfin, added: “With the expansion that has already taken place and is due to take place in the population in Whalley and the neighbouring villages of Billington and Barrow, the branch is only going to get busier.”
Meanwhile, Whalley councillor Terry Hill commented: “Although residents will be able to use Whalley Post Office for cash deposits and withdrawals, there will be a number who used the branch for more complex transactions, who now won’t be able to because they either don’t have access to technology, struggle to travel further afield or are unfamiliar with telephone banking. I am especially concerned about the large number of elderly residents who will struggle to adjust.”
John Atherton, the president of the Whalley Chamber of Trade, is also upset. He said: “I’m disappointed that no meeting as yet has taken place between Barclays Bank and the Chamber of Trade. I am pleased that local traders will be able to pay their cash deposits in at the post office, what they won’t be able to do is to access change in the form of notes and coins for their businesses.”
Meanwhile, Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has arranged a meeting with senior Barclays officials and will be putting the points raised to him to them.”