Business & Investment

Banks say they serve you: Barclays keeps customers away from the counter

Money Mail has been campaigning for years to keep bank branches open, giving customers direct control over their money.

This is more important than ever, as branches continue to close at an alarming rate. Elderly and vulnerable people need to travel miles for face-to-face services. But even if the branch is open, some banks are bullying customers to use self-service machines instead.

And bank giant Barclays has been accused of quietly introducing new rules to limit the transactions that can be performed at the counter.

No service: Bank giant Barclays has been accused of quietly introducing new rules to limit the transactions that can be performed at the counter.

One MoneyMail reader says he turned his back when he tried to pay the invoice because it was less than £ 300.

The other was told by a cashier at the Walton-on-Thames branch that the headquarters was monitoring transactions at the counter and “rebuked” overkill staff. Instead, I was told to send a customer to use a self-service machine.

Barclays counters are also running a reduced service and are only open between 9:30 am and 2 pm or 3:30 pm, even if the branch itself isn’t closed late.

Experts have accused banks of trying to force customers online, so there is an excuse to close more branches.

According to the lobby group, major high street banks have mediated 1,035 branches since the pandemic forced the first lockdown in March 2020.

It said this was almost three times the number closed the previous year. One or more of the four closed branches belonged to Barclays.

Eleni Georgiou (pictured) was told that transactions under £ 300 should be done using a self-service machine

Eleni Georgiou (pictured) was told that transactions under £ 300 should be done using a self-service machine

And last month, the Lloyds Banking Group announced that it would close an additional 48 locations next year, including the last remaining bank in the Isles of Scilly, after arranging 56 earlier this year.

72-year-old Jane Doe, who lives in Weybridge, Surrey, visited her local Barclays branch earlier this month to modify her automatic transfer and withdraw cash.

However, after lining up at the counter, former executive PA Jane was ordered to use two self-service machines. One for each task on either side of the room.

Jane refused because of the last error, but the cashier insisted that she be taken over by the machine.

Jane says:’It was like a standing fight. I was a minority and most people were told they wanted to use the machine, but there was a line of people waiting to be served at the counter to the door.

The clerk forgave, but when Jane left, she also heard an elderly woman who was told she had to use the machine when she didn’t want it.

Jane adds: ‘I think it’s very cruel for Barclays to harass customers like this. Some people may want to use the machine, but others don’t have to. They come to the branch for face-to-face services that Barclays should also provide.

Eleni Georgiou, 72, had a similar experience when she visited her local Barclays branch in Palmers Green, north London, in September and paid a £ 221 credit card invoice.

The cashier refused and told her that transactions under £ 300 should be done using a self-service machine. But when she returned to pay the £ 900 invoice a month later, she turned her back again because the staff claimed that the counter was for business customers only.

Eleni, a former receptionist in Winchmore Hill, north of London, said:

“Barclays obviously wants to close the counter and push more people online so that more branches can be closed.

“I ended up having to take some buses to use another branch.”

Barclays fired in September after Labor Party lawmaker Siobhain McDonough, a member of the Treasury Select Committee, revealed that he had mistakenly convinced customers to close London’s Mitcham branch because the lease had expired. In fact, the lease was still in effect for three years.

Cost Savings: Banks are keen to close branches and reduce counter services because they are more expensive to run than online services.

Cost Savings: Banks are keen to close branches and reduce counter services because they are more expensive to run than online services.

Ms. McDonna, a member of Mitcham and Morden, said:

“The decision to leave Mitcham is a slap for my seniors and vulnerable members who rely on the accessibility and security of their local bank branches, as they have more than three years of lease time left.”

Another reader, Veronica Hall, says that when her Barclays branch in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire was refurbished, all but one counter was replaced with a self-service machine.

Customers wishing for face-to-face service were taken to the Caffrey and Barnett High Street branches.

The branch is currently scheduled to close, and Veronica claims it was done without consulting the community.

Jes Staley was forced to resign as Barclays boss on Sunday after an investigation by the financial watchdog.

Jes Staley was forced to resign as Barclays boss on Sunday after an investigation by the financial watchdog.

She states: To get their money.

“This is rude to those who rely on these services, and banks should be ashamed of themselves.”

Barclays acknowledges that customers are “increasingly encouraging” to use self-service machines wherever possible. A spokeswoman said: “This gives branch colleagues more effective support for more customers, self-sufficiency, and confidence in managing their own money.”

HSBC is also making its network counterless. As part of a major overhaul, 40% of the 511 branches will be self-service. Mainly in big cities, only one in five offers “full service”.

He adds that this is to allow older customers to become accustomed to their digital skills, reduce latency, and handle more queries.

Lloyds’ 58 branches do not have “traditional” counters.

a.murray@dailymail.co.uk

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Banks say they serve you: Barclays keeps customers away from the counter

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/saving/article-10157667/Bank-says-serve-Barclays-turns-customers-away-counters.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Banks say they serve you: Barclays keeps customers away from the counter

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