Cllr Stephanos Ioannou
Dear Cllr Ioannou
I would like to give you notice of a change Barclays is making in your constituency. On Thursday 18th August we are closing our branch at Chase Side, Southgate.
The decision to close a branch is never an easy one, however, the way people bank today is unrecognisable from 50 years ago when almost every banking transaction took place in a branch. Now, that number is less than 10%, and we need to make sure that we are providing our services in ways that best reflect customers’ needs, including outside of traditional branch formats.
This ongoing change in behaviour means we are seeing a sustained fall in customer transactions across our network and this is reflected at the Chase Side, Southgate branch where there has been a 19% reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020. In addition, we can identify that 88% of our customers at the branch are using alternative ways in which to undertake their banking, including via the telephone, online and mobile app.
Despite the branch closure, we are confident that access to banking remains sufficient in the local community; everyday transactions can be completed at any Post Office, with the closest located at 64, Chase Side, Southgate (45 metres away). There are ten free-to-use ATMs within one kilometre, the nearest at Tesco, 42-54, Chase Side, Southgate (70 metres away); while the closest Barclays branches are at Palmers Green and Enfield.
We appreciate that not all of our customers will adopt change at the same pace, and we would like to underline our commitment to supporting our vulnerable customers through this change. We have identified that in total 62 regular customers use this branch exclusively for their banking and do not interact with us in other ways. We will be making personal contact with all regular branch users to discuss their options and guide them through alternative ways to bank.
Although the branch is closing, we will still have an active presence in the community via new and alternative physical touchpoints. For example, we plan to provide additional face-to-face access for banking services via one of our Barclays Vans – from the point of closure on 18th August, the Van will visit Chase Side, Southgate at least once a fortnight. Through the Van, Barclays’ colleagues will be available to offer general advice and help for customers with basic banking, such as transfers between accounts, change of address, opening of savings and ISA accounts, setting up mobile banking and amending direct debits and standing orders. Further details of the Van, including the timings and the location, will be communicated to regular customers in the coming days.
I would be very happy to host you at the Van to showcase our continued customer support first-hand and will be in touch to share further details in due course.
As part of this closure announcement we will follow the Access to Banking Standard. This means all of our local customers will be informed of our decision at least 12 weeks before the closure via letter. We will also make available our Reasons for Closure document.
We appreciate you may receive queries from your constituents on this matter, and want to make sure you are prepared with the relevant information in this event. As part of this process we would welcome your views on how we can help smooth the transition of this branch closure for local customers.
Despite the closure of the branch, I hope you can agree from our efforts outlined above that we remain committed to meeting customer needs in Southgate through new and different ways.
I would be happy to arrange a call if you wish to discuss this in further detail.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Customer Care Director
Enfield and Romford Market