Barclays cancels plan to scrap post office cash withdrawals in ‘victory for common sense’

Barclays has reversed plans to scrap cash withdrawals at post offices following customer backlash.

Earlier this month the bank announced it would be stopping free withdrawals from January 2020, with a focus on more ATMs and cheque cashing services.

A pedestrian walks past a branch of Barclays bank in central London on October 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / AFP PHOTO AND Tolga Akmen / Tolga Akmen        (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images) NNL-191022-122331001

A pedestrian walks past a branch of Barclays bank in central London on October 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / AFP PHOTO AND Tolga Akmen / Tolga Akmen (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images) NNL-191022-122331001

But critics argued it would restrict customers’ access to cash following branch closures, with many reliant on post offices for withdrawals.

The chairman of Shoreham Beach Residents’ Association, Joss Loader, accused the bank of showing ‘contempt’ to its customers.

A Barclays spokesman said the ‘great deal of public and private debate’ influenced the reversal.

“Ultimately we have been persuaded to rethink our proposals by the argument that our full participation in the Post Office Banking Framework is crucial at this point to the viability of the post office network,” the spokesman said.

“Whilst we have concerns regarding the sustainability of relying on this model in the longer term, and want to work with Government and others to address the problems inherent in it, we recognise that the Post Office is a network valued by many communities in the UK today.”

The company pledged to maintain full post office services, including cash withdrawals, for three years.

Mrs Loader praised the reverse as a ‘victory for common sense’ and said it would bring great relief to people who find it difficult to access or use ATMS in town centres.