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Traders fear for the future of Chatteris and say bank closure could have 'massive repercussions'

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Business leaders fear a Fenland town won’t recover from the proposed closure of its last remaining bank, claiming a massive impact on traders.

Barclays bank in Chatteris is closing in May and traders fear it will impact on their businesses. (7299791)
Barclays bank in Chatteris is closing in May and traders fear it will impact on their businesses. (7299791)

Chatteris in Business fear the closure of Barclay’s – announced last month – will leave traders vulnerable to crime, force them to travel to other towns to bank takings and affect customers, with limited places to get cash.

A spokesman said: “Chatteris is an already struggling market town and after losing Lloyds Bank in October of last year, we will be left with NO banks.

“While many people use online and mobile banking, many of our customers still deal in cash or cheques and we have to take that into a bank. Some business owners work six days and do not have time to get out of town to alternative branches. Many communities are losing their banking facilities, with few alternative branches to use.

“Security is a big issue. We are advised to vary the routine when paying in sums of money. However, with one bank providing a mobile unit twice a week at set times, this security measure is not possible. There are also issues with potential indiscretion and commercial espionage as the only other financial alternative in town is a business competitor.

“Other issues include banking isolation with no-one to discuss banking queries. Not to mention the time it can take for money to clear when not paid directly into a bank and the difficulties getting small change for daily use.

“The closure will mean we lose another cash machine, further damaging the town. There are already limited places to withdraw cash and businesses that don’t take card payments will suffer.

“Businesses are having to start late/close early or close at peak times to take cash to banks in other towns. This impacts greatly on them as many are already struggling.

“It also raises issues for the public. Elderly people are fearful of digital banking, many don’t have transport and it can be a four-hour round trip to the nearest town.

“We have several empty commercial properties. The banks were housed in prominent listed buildings which, if left empty, will have a further detrimental impact.

“This is going to have such massive repercussions for our town and we are not sure it could recover, despite the best efforts of local businesses and a proposed investment by the local authority.”

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