Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 08/10/2019

From January 2020, Barclays customers will no longer be able to withdraw money at Post Office branches, but the bank has revealed plans today to aim to make banking at Barclays more accessible in rural areas.

Many people who live in rural and deprived areas depend on their local Post Office for their banking needs, especially as banks and building societies continue to close locations across the country.

The Post Office announced today that under a new Banking Framework agreement, customers from 28 banks will continue to have free access to everyday banking services at Post Office branches. The only bank to not sign the agreement was Barclays Bank, which means that although Barclays customers will still be able to deposit cash, cheques and access change and balance enquires at their local Post Office, from the 8 January 2020 they will not be able to withdraw cash.

Commenting on the agreement, Martin Kearsley, director of banking services at Post Office said: “We’re delighted to have signed this agreement with almost every UK bank, ensuring that their customers, no matter what their personal circumstances or location may be, can have convenient and secure access to everyday banking services such as cash withdrawals and deposits. With 93% of people living within a mile of a Post Office, our branches are ideally situated to provide easy access to vital banking services.”

Although the majority of banks signed the agreement, Post Office was disappointed that Barclays Bank opted out, however the bank announced plans today to halt remote branch closures for two years and to launch a new cashback scheme for its customers.

Barclays Bank halts branch closures

The banking giant has revealed that it indents to keep branches in remote areas, or where it is the last bank in town, for two years. As a result of this, 100 branches have been ring-fenced to remain open until October 2021. In addition to this, Barclays is also planning to introduce a cashback scheme that will enable its customers to withdraw cash at businesses in remote towns and areas where there is no branch or ATM alternative within 1km.

Adam Rowse, managing director of branch-based banking at Barclays, said: “We are constantly exploring new ways to evolve the role of the branch. By maintaining ‘last in town’ or remote branches over the next two years, and working with the community, we hope to increase demand and keep these branches viable. We also recognise that there are opportunities to support customers with access to cash where there is no branch or ATM nearby. We are launching a cashback offering working with merchants to give customers access to cash over the counter. By behaving differently, we hope to see a real difference in how customers interact with us.”

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