Hoveton locals say they are being “forgotten” by their bank as the village’s only branch is set to close.

Barclays has announced its Station Road branch will close on December 1 this year.

The village will also be losing its only cash machine as part of the closure.

The bank is replacing the branch with Barclays Local – a 'cashless' banking service to operate at the United Reformed Church Hall in Norwich Road for three days a week from December 4.

Eastern Daily Press: Barclays bank in Station Road, HovetonBarclays bank in Station Road, Hoveton (Image: Adam Barker)

However, councillor Nigel Dixon, who represents Hoveton and Tunstead at North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), fears the loss of everyday access to a face-to-face banking service will be devastating for the elderly and small businesses in the village.

“The loss of face-to-face and cash access banking is profound for a population with a high proportion of elderly folk – many of whom don’t use digital banking,” Mr Dixon said.

“We also have many small businesses who trade on cash transactions and need to pay in daily takings of cash.

“The very strong tourist economy also relies on easy access to cash and will be adversely affected.”

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Eastern Daily Press: Councillor Nigel Dixon, who represents Hoveton and Tunstead at North Norfolk District Council (NNDC)Councillor Nigel Dixon, who represents Hoveton and Tunstead at North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) (Image: Supplied)

One of the branch's customers, John Wilton, 75, said: “Local people are being forgotten”.

“People like us don’t matter to them – they [Barclays] are making more money elsewhere,” he said.

“I like to talk to someone face-to-face rather than online or over the phone. I’ve tried phoning and it’s very rare that you get through to someone straight away.”

Eastern Daily Press: John Wilton, 75John Wilton, 75 (Image: Adam Barker)

Noel and Jean Hicks, who began banking in Hoveton after Barclays closed its Stalham branch in 2015, said they will now have to go into Norwich to do their banking.

“We’re being forgotten – it’s not fair on elderly people like us,” Mrs Hicks, 74, said.

“I’m sad it’s closing because we’ve now got no one to talk to face-to-face to give us advice.

“I just think it’s wrong.”

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Eastern Daily Press: Noel and Jean Hicks, 74 and 75Noel and Jean Hicks, 74 and 75 (Image: Adam Barker)

Mr Hicks, 75, added: “We look after some people who are older than us and they have no idea how to bank online.

“This always seemed to be a busy bank and we will miss the face-to-face banking.

“You feel more confident going into a bank and speaking to someone if you’ve got a problem and you feel safer because there’s so many scams about now – it’s frightening.”

Noel King, 79, raised concerns over the village’s only cash machine being removed when the branch closes.  

“I don’t want to see it go because it’s been a good service to me over the years,” he said.

“I’m an older person and I like to have a bit of cash in my pocket.”

Eastern Daily Press: Noel King, 79Noel King, 79 (Image: Adam Barker)

Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, has said Link – which works to provide communities with access to cash services – hopes to ensure there will still be a cashpoint in the village in the future.

“I’ve been working with Barclays to try and deliver a physical hub for the community similar to what I managed to secure for Holt.

“The Barclays Local is amazing news for my constituents who depend on having a local banking presence and I’m so glad I’ve been able to help deliver this.”

Eastern Daily Press: Duncan Baker, MP for North NorfolkDuncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk (Image: Newsquest)

The Barclays Local will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.30am to 1.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

Although they will not be able to deposit or withdraw any money, customers will be able to get help with things such as digital banking, financial reviews, balance checks transfers and bill payments.

The bank is opening 128 Barclays Local sites in 2023.

The firm says day-to-day transactional banking, such as cash or cheque deposits and withdrawals, can still be done at the Post Office.