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Barclays Bank defends plans to close branches in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 11:20 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:58 23 January 2019

Barclays King's Lynn Hardwick branch, which is set to close along with the branch in Downham Market  Picture: Chris Bishop

Barclays King's Lynn Hardwick branch, which is set to close along with the branch in Downham Market Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

Barclays has defended its decision to close two more Norfolk branches, saying people no longer use them.

Its King’s Lynn Hardwick branch will be closing on April 26 and its Downham Market branch will follow suit on May 3.

The bank says customer numbers have fallen by 16pc at Hardwick over the last two years and just 53 regular customers use it. Numbers have fallen by 9pc at Downham, which has 153 regular customers.

It says there will be no redundancies, with staff moving to work at other branches.

Kathryn Kitson, Community Banking Director for Barclays Norfolk and Suffolk said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.

“At the branch at Hansa Road, King’s Lynn, customer usage has continued to decline and more than 82pc of the customers of the branch are already using online, mobile or telephone banking.

“At the branch in Downham Market, customer usage has continued to decline and more than 74pc of the customers of the branch are already using online, mobile or telephone banking.”

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said he was “disappointed and saddened” that Barclays was closing its Hardwick branch.

He said: “Although more and more people are committed to online and telephone banking, there are still plenty of smaller businesses that rely on the local branch in-order to pay in cash and cheques.

“It is certainly the intention of the big banks to move towards a cashless society but there will always be a significant number of businesses and individuals that cannot do without their local branch.”

“Bearing this in mind, I have been in touch with Barclays about this to express my grave concerns, I have also asked them if they have consulted fully and properly with their customers.

“My own view is that they should put this on hold pending a proper survey of their existing customer base, as well as examining whether there is an argument for expanding this branch and offering more services.”

Customers will now receive letters with a copy of its decision to close document. Posters will be displayed.

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