Barclays’ Henfield branch will not reopen after suffering significant damage in a ram raid in April, it has been confirmed.
Barclays Bank, in High Street, Henfield, was broken into in the early hours of Sunday, April 15, before the ATM containing £88,000 was hauled out of the wall with the help of a stolen JCB.
The ram raid caused significant damage and prompted a review by Barclays into how customers in the area were using its banking services.
The review found fewer customers were doing their banking at the breach and there had been a 14 per cent drop in transactions over the past two years, leading to the eventual closure.
Nigel Taylor, Community Banking Director for Barclays in Sussex said: “In April our Henfield branch suffered a ram raid attack on the ATM which caused significant damage to the building and it was necessary to close the branch for repairs.
“This incident prompted us to review how our customers use our banking services in the area and we have made the difficult decision not to re-open the Henfield branch.
“Prior to this incident and closure, we were finding that fewer customers were doing their banking at the branch and our records show the branch had a low and falling level of transactions with a 14 per cent drop in the last two years alone.
“Both personal and business customers can use the Post Office in Henfield for transactions typically carried out over branch counters (to withdraw cash, pay in cheques or cash) as well as using our telephone, mobile and online banking.
“We appreciate that there are concerns about the lack of ATM availability in Henfield and we are actively looking for an alternative site in the vicinity.
“We hope that the availability of the post office and the nearest branches in Steyning and Burgess Hill, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”
At the time of the ram raid, Sussex Police said the cash machine was found in a burnt-out Nissan Navara 4x4 pick-up truck in Dunsfold later that morning and police were hunting for suspects.
Detective Sergeant Kieran McDonald said: “We are investigating this ram raid and linked criminality. We are immensely grateful to the local community for assisting us in our enquires to date.
“We are interested in speaking to anyone who witnessed the event or who saw any activity at the stated locations and times. We would also appreciate it if people could review any dash cams or CCTV which were recording at or near the locations described, and if they find any significant material to contact us. We are particularly interested to hear about any vehicles that appeared to be in convoy with the Navara.”
Anyone with any information was asked to report the details online or phone 101, quoting serial 157 of 15/04. Alternatively, you can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.