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Gloucestershire Business News

Closure of second high street bank branch an "insult to businesses"

Barclays has announced it is closing a second branch in Gloucestershire and businesses say it is an insult to loyal customers.

Yesterday it was revealed that the Barclays outlet in Bristol Road, Gloucester will close on November 23.

Now the bank says its branch in Parsonage Street, Dursley will also shut on Friday, 16 November.It will leave the town with just Lloyds and TS bank branches.

Barclays says the reason is that too few people are using the branch for everyday banking. The closest alternative branches are in Stroud or Thornbury.

The major banks argue that branch closures are justified because more people are carrying out banking online. But small businesses especially will miss the convenience of a local bank branch and the personal service.

But businessman Brian Crowe, executive chairman of Stonehealth, the Cam-based stonework restoration and conservation specialists, said: "To suggest that customers can travel to Stroud, Thornbury or Yate is an insult to those who have been loyal customers of Barclays.

"If a business does most of its trade in cash then to have to take it great distances is not a very economic use of time, let alone safety and security. Fortunately, most of transactions are received by BACs or credit/debit cards but there are still the few inevitable cheques that need to be presented.

"I understand that we will soon be able to present scanned cheques online but that may not be a facility available to personal customers who want the security of taking both cheques and cash into a local branch."

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