This week Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham has co-signed a letter to the Chief Executive of Barclays Bank, urging them to rethink a recent decision which would see constituents unable to withdraw cash from local Post Offices.
In the last four years over 3,000 high street banks have closed across the country as the banking sector moves to a more digitised format, and in 2018 over 500 ATMs were closed. Following the closures a spokesperson for UK Finance gave assurances that "all the high street banks have arranged for everyday banking services to be available through 11,500 Post Offices across the country."
However, despite these assurances Barclays who have closed 481 high street branches in recent years, are proposing to renege on this agreement. If the changes go ahead it will leave Barclays customers without access to cash or face to face banking services via the Post Office. It is anticipated that this will hit both elderly and working-class customers hardest.
Jon Cruddas MP said: "with an ageing population we should be looking to preserve our face to face customer services. I understand that moving to digital is financially prudent, but when it's at the expense of potentially thousands of people in my constituency I simply can't support it."
In the letter drafted by Chris Elmore, MPs explain that ‘free and easy access to cash forms the bare foundation of the service customers should expect to receive.'
Jon added: "if Barclays go ahead with this, they will be pulling the rug out from under many of my constituents. I am urging them to reverse this decision to prevent their customers across Dagenham, Rainham, South Hornchurch and Elm Park from being side-lined."