MP JONATHAN Reynolds has hit out at the decision to close a bank branch in Hyde town centre.
Barclays will cease operations on Market Street on Friday, May 29 as it undergoes a nationwide review of the way it works.
The bank says almost nine out of every 10 customers use either telephone or online banking and the number of transactions at the branch has declined by almost a quarter over the last two years.
However, that does not wash with Mr Reynolds, who has criticised both the closure and the way they were allowed to go about it.
He said: “I am angry and extremely disappointed by this email announcing the closure of Barclays branch in Hyde.
“I will be asking for further evidence to justify move, which is yet another unwelcome blow for shoppers and businesses in Hyde.
“I was proud that Labour’s manifesto would have obligated banks to carry out meaningful community consultation before any decisions about bank closures would be take.
“It is disappointing the Tory government continue to allow access to high street banking to collapse.”
Barclays informed Mr Reynolds of its decision but outlined how customers can still pay in cheques and cash, as well as check their balance, in Hyde town centre, by using the Post Office at Market Place.
However, the nearest branch will be in Ashton, some three-and-a-half miles away.
They said: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one; however, we are finding that customers are increasingly using other ways to do their everyday banking and the number of transactions taking place at the branch continues to decline by 22 per cent over the last 24 months.
“In addition, 87 per cent of our customers at Hyde branch are also using alternative ways in which to undertake their banking including telephone and online banking.
“Please be assured that we do not take the decision to close any branch lightly and we are committed to adhering to the UK Access to Banking Standard.
“All of our customers will receive a letter, our decision to close document and posters will be displayed in branch and colleagues will be on hand to assist customers with any concerns they may have.
“We will be proactively engaging with local businesses and the wider community to discuss the alternative ways customers will be able to undertake their banking locally, before the branch closes on Friday, May 29.”
Mr Reynolds has criticised Barclays before, specifically relating to an agreement that customers in areas whose branch has closed can withdraw cash at a Post Office.
And his action saw their decision reversed.
Last October, he wrote: “I was appalled that Barclays Bank had cancelled their agreement allowing customers to withdraw cash from Post Office branches.
“This would have only added to the cash crisis seeing many older and vulnerable residents struggling to access their own money.
“I wrote to the CEO of Barclays to ask him to urgently reconsider and I was very pleased to see that the decision was reversed. It is always reassuring when large businesses like Barclays are willing to engage and listen to the opinions of local communities.”