Bye bye banks?


The NatWest Bank closed its doors at 85, High Street for the last time on Thursday June 21 and rumour has it that Barclays Bank is going to close later this year.
The following day the work of clearing out had already begun with the arrival of a vehicle equipped with rear-mounted lifting equipment, capable of removing the bank’s safe and other office furniture. The operatives, employed by Associated Security Group Ltd, said they were contracted to close 260 NatWest branches by Christmas 2018.
Rye Town Council therefore overwhelmingly backed a motion from Deputy Mayor Rebekah Gilbert on Monday June 25 calling on Barclays to stay.
However it appears that Barclays, rather than going completely, may want to create an automated branch with no counter service – or possibly a one-day-a-week limited business service.
Rye also may have a limited mobile bank service, which some villages already get, but that may not meet business needs either.
Cllr Gilbert’s motion at Monday’s full council meeting summed up some of the problems caused by bank closures, or limited services

  • Poor transport services to larger towns (Hastings/Ashford) with banks
  • Family businesses, including pubs and tourist destinations, have problems getting change and paying in cash
  • The Post Office is now stuck in the middle of a supermarket with limited space and security

and an elderly population often struggles with online banking.
Her motion concluded: “A thriving and popular tourist Cinque Port town with no banking facilities would be incredibly damaging to the community as a whole.”
However the good news (for some) is that bank closures may end or reduce current parking problems with three cash machines in close vicinity on the High Street/West Street junction – and Jempson’s supermarket in Station Approach now has two machines.

Photo: Kenneth Bird

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  1. You fail to mention that Lloyds is closing in October which makes it all the more essential that Barclays stays and offers full personal and business banking services.

  2. It is sad to see Rye’s banks slowly disappearing. Thank goodness for Nationwide where I have been a customer for the last 20 years. I gave up banks due to the many errors that occurred. Nationwide is very friendly and helpful and does all the basic financial needs for me. One can have a cheque book, debit and credit cards just like a bank and will help with all aspects of lending and ISA business. The also have the cheapest travel insurance if one has a FlexAccount (Current Account). Why bother with a bank!

    • I agree Nationwide is friendly and helpful but they do not offer business banking. It is the small, cash reliant, shops and businesses that are hardest hit by the greed of the banks.

  3. As banks close branches many ATMs are also being removed and this is already happening all over the country. They might like to think/wish that we are moving towards a cashless society, but cash is likely to be important for at least another half-generation. The banks choose to publicly ignore how they were bailed out by the taxpayer earlier this century, but towns such as Rye will be directly affected if visitors and others can’t easily obtain spending money and traders will be hit by the double-whammy of reduced takings and loss of deposit facilities.

  4. Quite agree nationwide in Rye are very good, friendly and very helpful being a member now for well over 35 years. it’s sad to see the banks in Rye closing but even more sadder to see a chief executive of nationwide jumping on the bandwagon collecting a payment of £2.3 million. building society are meant to be owned by and ran for the benefit of their members
    Maybe one day nationwide might become a bank ?.

  5. Cllr Gilbert makes three points but in my view only the second one is valid. We have good connections to Hastings (train and 2 bus routes) and Ashford (by train), and I find that Rye Post Office is providing a good service with greatly extended opening hours. Is there a problem with it being “stuck” in a supermarket? I trust they have an adequate level of security.


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