Barclays Post Office cash withdrawal decision slammed by National Federation of SubPostmasters
A petition calling for Barclays to reverse its decision to axe cash withdrawals for its customers at post offices has attracted thousands of signatures.
The bank revealed last week it would block customers taking out cash at post office counters from January 2020.
The high street bank confirmed it was not among the 27 other banks which penned a new three-year agreement to allow their customers to use the services in post office branches nationwide.
It could leave many facing a struggle to access their cash following high street branch closures and the decline in ATMs.
Last year, 15 million transactions were carried out by Barclays customers at post offices.
Now the National Federation of SubPostmasters has set up an online petition which has already received more than 5,300 signatures.
The petition says: "Due to bank branch closures, many people rely on post offices as a place to access vital banking services – especially in rural areas.
"This is about protecting rural communities and protecting our nation's post offices."
The call for Barclays to reverse the decision has been supported by MPs.
Rachel Reeves, the Labour chairman of the House of Commons business committee, said: "The outcry which has followed this inexcusable decision should jolt Barclays into coming to their senses and ensure they do the right thing by performing a rapid U-turn on this policy."
Calum Greenhow, the National Federation of SubPostmasters' (NFSP) chief executive said: "Barclays are telling their customers 'we don't care about you'. They are telling subpostmasters 'we don't care about you'.
"The bank needs to locate its moral compass and reverse this decision before it is too late."
The bank is believed to save around £7 million by not signing up to the deal, despite its latest financial results showing a pre-tax profit of £3 billion for the first half of 2019.
Business and personal customers with Barclays will, after January, be able to deposit cash and cheques over post office counters.
It says it will introduce a cashback scheme enabling customers to withdraw cash at businesses in remote towns and areas where there is no branch or ATM alternative within 1km.
A Barclays spokesman said: "Our commitment means none of our customers will be without access to cash. Despite removing cash withdrawals, our financial contribution to the Post Office for the banking framework will actually increase in 2020."