I am deeply disappointed that Barclays is to close the one and only remaining bank in Filey. In a bid to save the branch I met with representatives from the bank to relay my concerns and to represent the views of his constituents, many of whom have told me in person how worried they are about this decision. 115 Filey residents use the bank exclusively and regularly and many others use it on a more casual basis.
Barclays said it had taken the difficult decision to close the Filey branch owing to a consistent decrease in the level of transactions. It said its customers are more frequently using alternative methods to transact on their accounts, such as Online, Mobile and Telephone banking. It was therefore not able to support the continued operation of the branch in the town.
Councillor Mike Cockerill (Scarborough) and Councillor Helen Swiers (NYCC) were also present at the meeting when we were told that most of the services offered by the bank are currently also provided at the post office.
I made the case for keeping the branch open very robustly, but to no avail. I accept that there is a post office, but what would happen if that were to close too? It would leave residents with nowhere to go. A town like Filey, with all its visitors, should have a bank.
Cllr Cockerill said “I share Kevin Hollinrake’s deep disappointment and consider that Filey has been badly let down by the decision to close the Filey branch in December. I am particularly annoyed that this will leave another vacant ground floor unit on the main shopping street of Filey. Some of the useage figures provided do not, in my opinion, give a true reflection of the value of having a live bank in Filey”.
Although the bank wouldn’t change its policy it did make some concessions. It agreed to provide more online banking training in Filey library; it offered to provide personal assistance for any customers to manage the change and said it would consider installing an additional cash machine in the post office and would be transparent about the details of the commercial agreement with the post office. It stressed that it is “currently reaching out to those who we have identified as needing additional support, such as our vulnerable, elderly and small business customers to help them understand the alternative ways of banking available once the branch closes. This includes practical steps such as using Telephone banking for those not wishing to use Online banking, debit card use, and how to withdraw cash using alternative ATM’s, banking at the Post Office and the use of cash back and contactless.”