Council responds to concerns over Hatfield Barclays closure
Concerns have been expressed about the number of banks disappearing from downtown Hatfield after Barclays announced their branch would close next month.
The bank will close on August 13, citing a decline in over-the-counter transactions over the past 24 months, with 92 percent of customers now using online or telephone banking.
The news comes after HSBC and Santander announced that their downtown branches will also close, leaving only Halifax and Lloyds in the downtown area.
Raising the issue of the closure at the board meeting on Wednesday July 14, Cllr Paul Zukowskyj asked, “With the recent announcements of bank closings, downtown Hatfield may well have only one bank left.” from the shopping street. What steps has the board taken to encourage closing banks to stay open and continue to provide banking services to our residents? ”
In response, Cllr Tony Kingsbury revealed that the board had done their best to keep the Barclays branch open.
“As you may know, the only leased bank in downtown Hatfield is Barclays. All the others are privately owned, ”he said.
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“When the board purchased the Barclays unit in 2018, the lease contained a tenant break that would have allowed Barclays to terminate the lease in 2021. However, the board was successful in negotiating and removing this break clause.
“While that wouldn’t prevent the branch from closing, it certainly makes it less commercially attractive to Barclays, as they will remain responsible for rent and business rates until 2026, even when it is closed.
“The council had not been able to secure a continuation clause in the lease because it would be deemed illegal by the courts. So it was the strongest step council could have taken under the lease to encourage Barclays to stay downtown.
“Despite the best efforts of the board, Barclays announced the closure of its downtown Hatfield branch next month.”