Residents’ shocked reaction to closure of St Albans community Barclays

The Barclays branch at The Quadrant is closing in June.

The Barclays branch at The Quadrant is closing in June. - Credit: Archant

Shocked residents have expressed concern over the closure of the surviving bank at a popular St Albans shopping precinct.

Barclays at The Quadrant in Marshalswick will shut on June 23 this year. Its neighbour, Lloyds, closed last November, leaving no banks in the stretch of shops.

The bank says not enough people are going in store to justify keeping it open, with 64 per cent of the branch’s customers now use other branches, as well as increased online, mobile, or telephone banking usage.

Nearby resident Patricia Furse, 70, said it was a shame: “I think it’s inevitable, but sad. I think it will affect all the older people who are maybe less mobile and who can’t get into town so easily.

“It’s part of the community, but with everything going on I am not surprised.”

Helen Smithers, 61, echoed the sentiment: “I think it’s bad because they not long ago closed Lloyds, so there’s no bank here - there should be a bank here.

“The Quadrant is really well used, the car park is really well used as well, and for older people who don’t like to bank online, it was good for them.”

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Graham Hobbs, 36, thinks a bank is necessary in a place like The Quadrant: “I think a bank is required here instead of people going into town.

“I believe it will have a negative impact, it’s not being able to see someone if you have a problem, that’s the problem.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said it is terrible: “Not everyone will want to drive into [central] St Albans, it’s very inconvenient, and this bank is so useful - they’re assuming everyone wants to bank online.

“What should always be the case is you should not assume people want to bank online. I am not against online banking but it’s not my choice, and it should be for me to choose.”

Her husband added: “We know there are ATMs here but if you want an account or if you want a statement you won’t be able to get it, it’s inconvenient.

“Big banks with big money, why can’t they keep them open?”

Joan Willacy, 76, said it was “strange” not to have a bank branch.

When told it was about to shut, Shoked Soans, 22, said: “That’s really annoying - I used to bank at Lloyds and I was going to bank at Barclays, but I can’t even bank there now anymore.”

The closest Barclays to Marshalswick will now be a branch in St Albans city centre.

A spokeswoman for Barclays said it was a difficult decision: “We hope that the availability of our other Barclays branch in St Albans, which is located 1.8 miles away, and access to services at the local Post Office located at 29 The Quadrant, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”