BARNSLEY is losing its banks at a quicker rate than the national average as more than 13 per cent of the borough’s sites have closed in the last two years.
New figures revealed the rapid fall in banks in Barnsley, whilst cosmetic businesses have seen a sharp rise in the number of stores across the town.
There are now 15.4 per cent more beauty services than there were in 2020 compared to a 6.7 per cent rise in the Yorkshire and Humber and a 5.9 per cent increase across Great Britain.
Fish and chip shops have also started to pop up more, with 13 per cent more chippies opening their doors to customers.
There’s been no change in the number of tattoo and piercing studios or public toilets, though there’s been a 6.7 per cent increase in the number of supermarket chains.
The Chronicle revealed earlier this year that there was just one bank open in Barnsley East as four banks closed their doors since 2015.
Whilst the number of active ATMs dropped from 59 to 49.
One in six banks in Barnsley Central have closed since 2015 and the number of ATMs dropped to 91.
It’s much of the same in Penistone and Stocksbridge which has among the worst access to banks and ATMs in the UK.
According to figures, seven banks have closed their doors since the start of 2015 leaving just one active in the area.
Whilst there’s only 31 cash machines.
Wentworth and Dearne has seen all its banks shuttered since 2015.
Which? chief executive, Anabel Hoult, said: “While the pandemic has accelerated the move to digital payments for many consumers, many are not yet ready to make that switch and require protection from an avalanche of ATM and bank branch closures that have left the UK’s cash system at risk of collapse.”
Dan Jarvis, Barnsley Central MP, said the closures are ‘concerning’ - though it is pleasing banks are offering online services.
He told the Chronicle: “It has been concerning to see a number of bank branches close recently.
“These closures have had a disproportionate impact on elderly and vulnerable residents, who rely on face-to-face services.
“While the pandemic undoubtedly accelerated a move to online banking, many people are not ready to make the switch.
“It’s good to see banks offering digital alternatives like video appointments and telephone banking, but it’s vital they make sure their services are accessible for everyone - not least for those in more isolated communities or who are less mobile.”
The Chronicle contacted Barnsley Council for a comment, but they declined to respond as they have ‘no role in wether banks stay open or decide to close’.