MP joins bank closure protest

MPNick Gibb, front left, and John Bass, front right, with fellow protestors at the Barclays branch SUS-150119-084930001
MPNick Gibb, front left, and John Bass, front right, with fellow protestors at the Barclays branch SUS-150119-084930001
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MP Nick Gibb is to urge bank bosses to keep their Rose Green branches open.

Mr Gibb will meet Barclays Bank next Friday and is arranging a session with NatWest.

He joined a protest by up to 20 residents outside the Barclays premises last Saturday against its impending closure. They included Aldwick Parish Council chairman Dr Tony Poland and member Alan Smith.

“There are quite a lot of elderly people in the area who to get into town to cash cheques and get money,” said Mr Gibb, the Conservative MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.

“These banks make huge profits of billions of pounds a year and the cost of keeping open a small branch such as Rose Green is a tiny amount in relation to those profits.

“It is also a tiny proportion of their social responsibility budget. Keeping the branches going is a better act of social responsibility than anything they might spend that budget on.”

But Mr Gibb said he realised banks had been on branch closure programmes around the country for several years.

His meeting with Barclays will be with Danny Reardon, its head of corporate relations London and Southern, at its Chichester branch because the Rose Green premises lacks a meeting room.

Mr Gibb will be joined by Aldwick Parish Council member Lillian Richardson.

The Barclays branch in Nyetimber Lane will close on March 13. NatWest will shut its Rose Green Road branch on March 16.

Willowhale Farm Residents’ Association arranged the protest. Its founder, John Bass,, said the group had been inundated with calls from concerned residents in the area.

“The Barclays’ Rose Green branch is always very busy and there is a queue to use the facilities.

“These proposed closures will not only affect the elderly but all ages and businesses in Rose Green.

“We welcomed Nick Gibb’s help and support and hope that one of these banks will re-consider and keep one branch open for the community.”

Using Rose Green Post Office as an alternative would only offer a partial solution to the banks’ closure.