The death of local banks: Barclays is slammed for setting up mobile bank van in graveyard after shutting popular branch 50 yards away
- Barclays set up a mobile bank van in St Andrew’s churchyard in Hove, Sussex
- It was recently announced a popular branch just 50 yards away will soon close
Barclays has been blasted by customers for setting up a mobile bank kiosk in a graveyard – after announcing the closure of a popular branch just 50 yards away.
The quiet cemetery at St Andrew’s church in Hove, East Sussex, became a backdrop for financial wheeling and dealing when the mobile bank van opened for business earlier this month.
Barclays says it has been given permission to park a van near the gravestones, tombs and crypts every Monday from 10am until 3pm.
Some people thought it was a practical joke but the bank insisted they ‘need to adapt to provide the best service’ as visits to branches continue to fall, with many customers preferring to bank online.
But locals have branded the van’s position in the churchyard as ‘tasteless’ and a ‘perfect analogy’ for a bank shutting so many of its high street branches.
The quiet cemetery at St Andrew’s church in Hove, East Sussex, became a backdrop for financial wheeling and dealing when the mobile bank van opened for business earlier this month
It follows news of the upcoming closure of a popular branch located just 50 yards away
A Barclays spokeswoman said the graveyard idea is ‘only temporary’ while it searches for a long-term home.
READ MORE: MAJOR HIGH STREET BANKS ANNOUNCE MORE CLOSURES – IS YOUR BRANCH AFFECTED?
One said: ‘Barclays closing their Hove branch to save costs and then place themselves in St Andrew’s Church in the graveyard.
‘They were there this morning until 2pm providing banking services to customers who banked at their now closing Hove branch.
‘What a PR disaster for a £60 billion global bank.’
‘I know high street banks are dying but this takes the biscuit’ said Jan Lomax, while Shoreham Beachcomber posted: ‘Ideal for a probate loan, I would suggest.’
Another user accused Barclays of ‘mocking’ local people who have been deprived of their High Street bank.
Trevornh posted: ‘Tasteless. Why don’t they park in the nearby Tesco car park?’
It was announced earlier this year that Barclays would be closing its branch in Church Road, Hove, on December 8.
The mobile banking van was parked in the graveyard just 50 metres from the branch.
A spokeswoman for the bank said it was rolling out its weekly van visits early so customers who use the soon-to-shut Church Road site can get to grips with the new format.
She said the graveyard idea is ‘only temporary’ while it searches for a long-term home.
‘We are delivering new ways to support our customers and the community with options for those who need in-person services,’ she said.
‘We plan for the Barclays van to visit one day a week – a cashless banking alternative where customers can meet a colleague face-to-face for a variety of support, as they would in a branch and without the need to travel.
‘We have worked with the local community and council to source a suitable location to park the van and the church is currently the only option available and is fully supportive of our presence.’
The Rev Dan Henderson, vicar of St Andrew’s, added: ‘Recently we have begun hosting a Barclays banking van every Monday to serve those in the community who will find it difficult to undergo their banking tasks once the Barclays branch in George Street is closed.
‘We see this as a practical way to serve the community and to help Barclays maintain a face-to-face option when it comes to banking, something that is valued by many in our congregation and community.
‘Our church grounds are solely maintained by volunteers and hosting these businesses helps to increase positive community use, decrease anti-social behaviour and fund our vision to ‘Love God and Love Hove like Jesus’.’
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