Fears over future as Rose Green bank is axed

Barclays Bank in Rose Green which will shut in March, 2015
Barclays Bank in Rose Green which will shut in March, 2015

CUSTOMERS and businesses fear the closure of one of Rose Green’s bank branches could harm the area.

Barclays has announced its Nyetimber Lane branch is being axed next March 13.

Its two full-time and two part-time staff will be moved to jobs elsewhere.

John Bass, founder of the Willowhale Farm Residents’ Association, has banked in the branch since he moved to the opposite side of Nyetimber Lane in 1972.

He said: “The closure of the bank will hit some people very hard.

“It’s always seemed busy to me when I’ve gone in there and there always seem to be queues. The staff are helpful as well.

“There are a lot of people around here in their 60s and above who are a little bit scared in one way or another of using computers.

“We’re glad they can go into the Post Office, because we want to keep that, but it will not be the same as the bank or they will have to take the bus into the town centre.”

Mr Bass said the absence of the bank branch would also affect the Rose Green area.

“It’s going to be a big difference to Rose Green when they take it away. That’s going to cause quite a lot of concern.

“I hope it doesn’t stay empty for too long and set off a decline in the area,” he said.

Mick Hullett, of Rose Green Art and Craft Centre, said: “The branch’s closure is not good news.

“It brings people into the area. If they come into the bank, they will do some shopping as well.

“We have to be concerned from a business point of view.”

A Barclays spokesman said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices. In response to this change in customer behaviour, we must evolve our business to meet their needs.

“Our records show the use of this branch has dropped by 30 per cent since 2008 and that around 75 per cent of the customers are already using other branches nearby.”

Barclays customers can carry out everyday transactions at any Post Office, such as the one in Rose Green. “We hope the range of alternatives, including digital banking, nearby branches and Post Office access will help to ease the transition for our customers in Rose Green,” he said, adding customers with concerns should speak to a member of bank staff.