‘An avoidable consequence of the second-home explosion’ - anger as Aldeburgh loses final bank
- Credit: Archant
A “consequence of second-home explosion in heritage towns” – that’s how the closure of the final bank in another Suffolk town was described yesterday.
Aldeburgh is set to become the latest town to lose its Barclays bank after bosses confirmed it would be closing next year.
The Barclays branch which sits on the town’s high street will close its doors on March 22, 2019.
Mayor of Aldeburgh, John Digby said the decision to close the bank was regrettable.
He said: “Barclays Bank has been an important part of the High Street scene for many years and it’s a great shame it is to close.
“Businesses and residents alike have benefitted from the excellent service there, to say nothing of the hundreds and thousands of visitors who pour into the town every year.”
Mr Digby was also concerned that the town would be left without a cash point.
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Sally Ogden, of Aldeburgh Business Association, said: “It’s very disappointing. They are the only bank in town and I’m not sure what we can do about it.”
She said it was important for businesses to be able to access services at the bank including getting change for customers.
County councillor for Framlingham Christopher Hudson was concerned his town, which only has one bank, would be next.
“I am worried and concerned at what will happen in Aldeburgh,” said Mr Hudson. “We are next, the writing is on the wall.”
He also laid part of the blame at the hands of the second-home owners in the two towns.
“In the winter, the population falls in comparison to the summer season, leaving these places unsustainable for banks,” said Mr Hudson.
The loss was “an avoidable consequence of second-home explosion in heritage towns”.
Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey was also unhappy with the latest news.
“I’m appalled that Barclays is closing their branch in Aldeburgh,” said Dr Coffey.
“This is an important function for residents, businesses and visitors to this seaside town. Banks need to think about the communities they serve, especially in rural areas.”
Barclays said it did not take the decision lightly and would be helping customers to look through alternatives to branch banking.
Kathryn Kitson, community banking director for Barclays Norfolk and Suffolk said: “At the branch in Aldeburgh more than 70% of the customers of the branch are already using online, mobile or telephone banking. We hope that the availability of the branches at Leiston, Framlingham and Woodbridge and access to services at the nearby Post Office along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”
They added that all staff at the Aldeburgh branch would be offered jobs in other nearby branches.