The Demise of Branch Banking in Rayleigh?

November 19, 2021 in News

On Thursday I had took a short walk into Rayleigh High Street even though I must admit these days my daytime visits to Rayleigh High Street are infrequent.

I do visit the town but it’s now more likely to be during the evening to enjoy a meal rather than daytime retail therapy.
However on Thursday I did need to visit Barclays Bank but was shocked to find it was closed.
The sign on the door has been put up to say that they have temporarily reduced their opening hours which includes a closure on a Thursday.
It left me wondering as to whether this is the thin end of the wedge and and we may begin to see a reduction in banking services and not just from Barclays. The pandemic and lockdown has been a perfect testbed for many banks to see how their digital services stood up to the majority of their customers.

Many banks have pulled out of the High Streets across the country and towns have been left desolate with no banking facilities at all. Although I am very keen on digital services this would leave many of our residents in Rayleigh struggling to access to banking services.
I have written to Rayleigh Town Council and asked them if they will contact Barclays Bank to get reassurance as to whether the reduction in hours will continue for a short period or if there are any plans to close the branch. They need to be proactive in trying to protect these services and the health of our High Street.
The footfall that banks attract for the High Street should not be underestimated and I am of the opinion they are vital for the success of many small businesses.

Have you been affected by the reduction in hours at Barclays? Let me know in the comments below

You might also be interest in these posts...

About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

  • My wife had to visit Barclay’s in Rayleigh on two occasions over the last two weeks, and she fell foul or their reduced hours – they seem to not open until quite late in the morning. She also noted that a lot of the effort once inside the bank is to get customers to use the electronic banking terminal, rather than using the counters.

    I always felt that banks seem to be run for the retired or unemployed. If I ever needed to visit my bank I could go on Saturday morning, but that was stopped a few years back. I don’t work in a town, so can’t go to a bank during my lunch break or before or after work. I’d now have to take time off if I wanted to do any banking in person.

  • Rochford had reduced hours for years. Then Hockley closed. Then Rochford closed. If Rayleigh also closes, that means a round trip of about 1 1/2 hrs, plus fuel & parking. Miss my half hour round trip on foot. And yes, I did use the branch about 3 times a month.

  • I work for a company that regularly needs to bank cheques, and occasionally needs to talk to banking staff. Before the pandemic I used Barclays in Canvey Island, during and since the pandemic Barclays on Canvey had reduced hours and is closed on a Tuesday so I now occasionally use Barclays in Rayleigh, only to discover Rayleigh Barclays is closed on a Thursday. I don’t understand how most of the UK business are back to normal functioning but an integral part of our business and personal life is not ! Why ?

  • I went to the Rayleigh Barclays a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky it was not a Thursday. But I was shocked to see the sign with their current opening hours.
    While I use online banking, there are plenty of people who don’t. The lines inside also were very long, due to there only being two people behind the counter.
    Covid can’t be used as an excuse forever. Get staff to wear masks and have more of them on the desk. Get things back to normal.

    • For some (not all elderly), the prospect of having to use digital is a step too far. They should start focusing on customer service instead of being transfixed on profits for shareholders.

  • COVID has resulted in far less use of “branch-banking” – so banks are taking the opportunity to reduce the service on offer (this move is gathering momentum, that will be hard to stop).

  • I live in Hullbridge, and as many I’m sure, would not have been happy if I went into Rayleigh to find the bank had decided to close without notifying its customers. They could email us to make us aware at least, after all, they have our money!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}