Villagers stage protest against plans to close bank branch
PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 March 2017
Concerned Kimbolton residents staged a protest on Thursday in response to plans to shut the village’s branch of Barclays bank.
More than 40 protestors gathered outside Kimbolton Castle’s gatehouse to protest about plans, announced by Barclays this week, to close the High Street branch amid a falling number of transactions.
The bank has been closed since January after it was damaged during an attempted ram-raid, with would-be thieves bidding to rip a cash machine from the wall using a teleporter.
The attempted was unsuccessful but major structural damage was caused to the building during the incident, the second such ram-raid in as many years.
Nora Butler, who was among the protestors, said: “Signs and placards of disapproval were waved by the crowd, who assembled at short notice on hearing that a Barclays official would be arriving in Kimbolton that afternoon.
“The nearest bank is now seven miles away in St Neots, a situation which is causing problems to local shops and businesses, as well as to local residents, especially those who have to rely on inadequate public transport.”
A petition calling for the branch to be spared has also been launched by residents.
A spokesman for Barclay’s told The Hunts Post that before the ram-raid and subsequent closure, the branch had experienced a low and falling level of transactions, with a seven per cent drop in the last year.
“On average more than 56 per cent of our customers were already using our other local branches before the branch had to close, and this figure is even higher for our business customers,” the spokesman added.
“This incident prompted us to review how our customers use our banking services in the area and we have therefore made the difficult decision not to re-open Kimbolton branch.
“As the branch has been closed for some time now, customers are using our branches at St Neots and Huntingdon for everyday transactions.”
According to the spokesman staff from the branch had been working at other local stores since the ram-raid.