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