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Barclays closes branch that has only one customer who refuses to bank online

Emma Guinness

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Barclays closes branch that has only one customer who refuses to bank online

Technology has changed significantly in recent years, and even today's phones are a world away from the types of devices most held just a decade or so ago.

Advances in technology have led to the rise of online banking, and now Barclays has announced that it will be shutting down a branch that was left with just one regular customer.

While every other customer at the Tower Bridge Road branch of Barclays in Bermondsey, London, decided to move with the times and go largely online, Peter Wisby, 84, refused.

In fact, he's so anti-technology that he's never even owned a smartphone.

Peter has refused to get online banking. Credit: SWNS
Peter has refused to get online banking. Credit: SWNS

Prior to the closure of his local Barclays, he did all of his banking in there, but he's now been left with a two-mile journey to the nearest remaining branch.

The pensioner and his wife Eileen, 81, have now accused the bank of lying by claiming that he is the branch's only regular in-person customer.

This is not the first time that Peter has had to travel further to a bank, either, as his previous closest branch in Southwark Park Road was also closed.

"They just tell a pack of lies," he claimed. They say people aren't using the banks but it's because they are putting obstacles in the way all the time.

"Over the last year, they deliberately shut the tills down, and then reluctantly they will open the till when I kick up a fuss.

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"You get a lot of people and they just have a natural aptitude with a keyboard and I've never tried online banking, I refuse to do it."

The couple, who do not take money out of a hole in the wall because 'because they are too dangerous', said they only have one mobile phone between them, Eileen's, which she can 'just about send a text on.'

They said that they are now in a very difficult situation as they will struggle to get to either of their now nearest branches.

"They said in the letter it was Borough High Street or Fenchurch Street, there’s no way we can get to either one every week," Eileen said.

"They're trying to force this banking online on us, I've got a mobile that my grandkids bought me, and I can use it to text.

"They said they'd show me how to bank online on it, I said 'no way'."

The couple said they will struggle to commute to their new nearest banks. Credit: SNWS
The couple said they will struggle to commute to their new nearest banks. Credit: SNWS

Peter and Eileen also said that they were recently victims of fraud.

"The other week we were looking at the bank statement and it had £150 Just Eat and £150 Debenhams, both online, and we don't use online," he said.

A Barclays spokesperson said: "We do have more than one customer who uses the branch to undertake their banking.

"However, we have identified that only one customer uses this branch regularly as the only way in which they interact with us. i.e. they do not bank by telephony, online or by mobile or use any other branches.

“Our customers’ behaviour has changed significantly in recent years, with the majority now choosing online banking.

“This is reflected at Bermondsey Tower Bridge Road branch, and as we adapt, we are finding new ways to support our customers by maintaining our community presence with options for customers who still require in-person support.

“We plan to open a Barclays Local – a pop-up cashless banking site where customers can meet a colleague face-to-face for banking support, as they would in a branch and without the need to travel.

“We are currently working with the local community to identify a suitable location and will announce details once confirmed."

Featured Image Credit: SWNS / Katharina Brandt / Alamy

Topics: UK News

Emma Guinness
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