Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey protests Barclays Leiston closure as hundreds sign petition
Nearly 700 people have signed a petition to save Leiston’s last bank as an MP meets with executives to protest its closure.
Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal, launched an appeal to keep Barclays, in Main Street, open.
The branch will shut on May 17 after a drop in footfall. In a letter sent to customers, Barclays said 64 people used it regularly.
Yesterday, Dr Coffey met with Barclays’ head of corporate relations and customer care executive to protest its closure.
A Parliamentary petition started by Dr Coffey garnered 683 signatures.
It urged the Government to encourage Barclays to prevent its closure.
It also called on the Financial Conduct Authority to publish its assessment on Barclays’ justification for shutting the branch.
Dr Coffey said: “Barclays is the last bank in Leiston and the last branch of Barclays in my constituency after the closures of seven others in the last decade.
“We are in a digital age but I know how much of a lifeline local bank branches are for all sectors of the community, especially elderly residents and for local businesses.”
She said the number of signatures on the petition allowed her to demonstrate the public’s thoughts on the closure.
“I would urge people to continue to make their views known by signing it.
“Hard copies have been sent out to Leiston residents.
“Last year the government changed the law so the Financial Conduct Authority can start investigating these closures and that’s why I’m also pressing the case with them, including in the Treasury Select Committee last week.”
Barclays has said a pop-up bank will replace its Leiston branch.
Julia Ewart, the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal, spoke with SuffolkNews about the closure of the branch.
She feared the entire constituency could be left without any banks and expressed concerns for elderly or disabled residents.
She estimated the bank served between 20,000 and 30,000 people.