Closure hit customers at South Shields bank told to use Post Office

Barclays Bank at The Nook is due to close
Barclays Bank at The Nook is due to close

Customers at a doomed bank in South Tyneside have been told they will be able to use nearby post office services.

Barclays confirmed last month that its branch at The Nook shopping centre, South Shields, is due to close in May.

Bosses have assured account holders they won’t have to travel into the town centre but will, instead, be able to get their cash at the nearby post office.

Coun Pat Hay told a meeting of the East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum: “I think it’s good news for residents who were asking about another bank closing in the area

“We’ve got a lot of older residents and people on benefits and it was going to cost them money to go into town. We didn’t think that was fair.

“The only people who will be charged for banking at the post offices will be businesses, but individuals won’t be charged.”

The closure at the Nook leave the national chain with just one outlet left in South Shields, in King Street.

The news was a blow to the shopping area, which has now seen two banks close in the last two years, despite footfall trebling.

This has, apparently, been of little benefit to the finance giant, which claims it customer numbers have dropped.

The branch is expected to close for good on Friday, May 10 – two years after Lloyds closed its outlet in the area.

The post office allows customers of almost 30 banks operating in the UK to access services from its branches.

There are currently five post office branches within about a mile of the doomed bank, including one in Prince Edward Road.

A Barclays spokeswoman said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.

“At Barclays Harton branch customer usage has continued to decline and 71 per cent of our customers now regularly use alternative branches, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it.

“We hope that the availability of our other Barclays branch at 1-5 King Street, South Shields and access to services at the local Post Office located at 103 Prince Edward Road, South Shields, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”

The bank has also said it is looking to to hold  ‘teach and teach’ sessions for anyone interested in digital banking.