Kinver MP calls for change in Barclays business policy

Stourbridge News: South Staffs MP Gavin Williamson is holding Barclays Bank to account and calling for change in a policy which he says is bashing business South Staffs MP Gavin Williamson is holding Barclays Bank to account and calling for change in a policy which he says is bashing business

KINVER MP Gavin Williamson is holding Barclays to account for a policy which he says is bashing village business.

The multi-national bank, which has a branch on the High Street, has stopped free money changing facilities for shops with an account at Barclays - which Mr Williamson says is causing problems for traders.

The South Staffordshire MP has written to the bank's chief executive, asking for a re-think of the policy, which he has been told is the result of a directive from the group's headquarters.

Gavin Williamson said: "I have already had reports that some businesses are struggling with having enough change. It is my belief that big banks should be supporting small businesses and local communities, and I want to see Barclays change its policy to reflect this.”

Barclays, which is the only bank with a branch in Kinver, says providing change costs money and increased demand means they cannot continue the service for free.

A spokesperson for Barclays said: “There is a nominal charge for business customers wishing to change bank notes into coins and vice versa. This is part of our standard business tariffs and reflects the cost to us of cash management.

“All customers who have been using the Kinver branch to change their cash were advised that future transactions would incur the charge in line with their business tariffs and all but one were happy with that.

“The branch has never declined any request for changing cash and is an active supporter of all of its local businesses. In 2012 we have delivered £32.6bn of gross new lending to businesses and UK households and have supported 84,000 start up businesses - the highest in a nine-month period since 1988. We approve over 80 per cent of business lending applications and in 2011 we grew our net lending to private businesses by 3 per cent versus a market decline of 5 per cent.”

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