Sandy to have ‘pop-up’ Barclays branch after bank closure

Sandy Town Council. Picture: Google Street View

Sandy Town Council. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

Barclays is to retain a reduced presence in Sandy after all, after a deal was struck between the bank and the town council.

The former Sandy branch of Barclays. Picture: Google Street View

The former Sandy branch of Barclays. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

The branch in the town’s High Street, which closed its doors for the last time on Friday, is to be replaced by a pop-up bank service operating from the Sandy Town Council chamber at 10 Cambridge Road twice a week.

For security reasons, the pop-up bank does not deal with cash transactions or cheques. It is set to open for the first time this afternoon.

A spokesman for the town council said it urged people in Sandy and the surrounding area to make use of the new facility.

The opening times are 2.30pm to 5pm on Wednesdays and 9am to 11.30am on Friday mornings.

A Barclays spokesman said: “As part of the transition to support our customers following the closure of our branch in Sandy, a member of Barclays staff will be on hand at Sandy Town Council to help with personal banking needs such as paying bills, making faster payment transfers and general account servicing.”

Barclays’ Donna Hagan said in November that the “difficult decision to close” the High Street site was based on many customers now using online, telephone and mobile devices to bank rather than visiting the brick-and-mortar branches.

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But the public response to the closure has been largely negative – with concerns about how the branch closures might affect older members of the community, and bemusement at the contention that not enough people use the physical banks.

The new pop-up branch has come about after Sandy Town Council continued to push for a continued Barclays presence in the town, after the bank last month reaffirmed its decision to close the High Street branch in spite of a petition from town mayor Colin Osborne.

Those looking for a full range of services will need to travel to Biggleswade, Hitchin or beyond. Some services are available at Post Office branches including the one in Sandy’s Market Square.

Shefford’s Barclays branch in Northbridge Street is to close its doors this Friday.

The closures come after both Barclays and Lloyds decamped from Baldock last year, leaving that town without a bank branch despite plans for a massive increase in housing.