Barclays set to move to Bedale Hall, amid concerns over cash access

Town councillors were told Barclays is understood to be in talks with managers at the 18th Century Bedale Hall, which is run as a trust housing the local library and museum, alongside small businesses.

Barclays revealed at the end of January it is closing its branches in Bedale and Leyburn, leaving the whole of Wensleydale without any bank branches.

Members of the town council have agreed to move their Barclays account to the local Skipton Building Society amid concerns they would not be able to obtain cash for events such as the annual bonfire.

Barclays said when it announced the closure that it would maintain a presence in the town. 

Councillor John Howe said after a meeting with Barclays: “I think we got more out of them than we were expecting. They were negotiating for three days’ presence with people who could give advice and show people what to do.”

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He said they implied they had an understanding with the Post Office and they were planning to keep the ATM outside the existing bank as long as possible. The bank is understood to be looking at alternative outside locations for an ATM. The closest one not inside a building is at Aiskew Garage about a mile away.

Councillor Pam Hallett said: “We are concerned about people who don’t have a car who take out cash once a week to take them over to the next week, it does worry me, they won’t be able to get to the ATM at Aiskew, I don’t think their concerns have been addressed.”

Councillors were told the bank had been having discussions with Bedale Hall over using a ground floor room in the building several times a week.

Mayor Amanda Coates said when the HSBC bank in the town was closed Barclays were the ones that said they would stay open. HSBC closed their Bedale branch in November 2015, just months after the Natwest bank pulled out.

Barclays Bank could not be contacted for comment, but its website includes a message for Bedale customers which states: “Barclays Bank is closing on April 26. We want to reassure you that we’re here to help. We’ll stay in your community and you’ll be able to talk to us in person.

“We’re finalising the details of where we’ll be based, and when, to support you with your banking, and we’ll share the details locally once confirmed. We’ll be available to help you with things like day-to-day banking queries and helping you manage your money, though there won’t be access to cash at this site. We’ll also add the location and opening times on our website, just search ‘Barclays branch finder’.”

Darlington and Stockton Times | Business News