4 December 2023
Vara takes up fight with bank over closure of Parish Council’s bank account

Shailesh Vara MP has written to Barclays Bank to protest about the closure of Sibson-cum-Stibbington Parish Council’s bank account.

Ms Marge Beuttell, Chair of Sibson-cum-Stibbington Parish Council and also Councillor with Huntingdonshire District Council, complained to the bank about the Parish Council’s treatment. However, after months of correspondence the bank abruptly closed the account, despite assurances that the account would remain open.

Prior to closing the account, Barclays made several promises that the Parish Council’s complaint would be resolved by specified dates, but all the dates passed, and the matter remained unresolved.

Moreover, the bank made contradictory statements, either delayed responding to or ignored some emails, and requested information that had already been provided.

Mr Vara’s letter to Mr C S Venkatakrishnan, Chief Executive of Barclays Bank, and Mr Nigel Higgins, Chairman of Barclays Bank, speaks of both the closure of the account and the poor treatment by Barclays to the Council.

A copy of the letter from Mr Vara to Mr Venkatakrishnan is attached.

Mr Vara said:

“This is appalling treatment by Barclays bank of Sibson-cum-Stibbington Parish Council. This is not the way that they should be dealing with customers.

“I have had sight of the correspondence between the Parish council and the Bank, and it does not show Barclays in any good light at all.

“For months, there has been poor treatment of the Council, culminating in the closure of their account without any explanation, despite promises to the contrary.

“I have asked Mr Venkatakrishnan to personally look into this case and I hope that the matter will be quickly resolved with the account being opened again.”

Ms Marge Beuttell added:

“The sudden and unexplained closure of this account left the Parish Council unable to pay the Parish Clerk and also other service providers for over three months, which was extremely embarrassing and frustrating.”

Photo: Cllr Marge Beuttell with Shailesh Vara MP.