Loddon faces life without a bank as Barclays announces closure of village branch
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A village is to be left bankless, after its only branch announced it will close in December.
As part of a string of closures nationwide, Barclays Bank has notified customers that its branch in Loddon will be closed down on December 15.
The decision to close the branch on Church Plain has been met with disappointment and frustration from village residents, including Caroline Bown, chairman of the Loddon and District Business Association.
She said: 'There is lots of worry for the community in the area, particularly as there are new homes being built at the moment, which will bring lots of new people in need of banking facilities.
'We have lots of elderly people living in the village too, who want to be able to visit a bank in person. However, it isn't solely elderly people who aren't keen on online banking - lots of people prefer to do their banking in person.'
The bank has cited declining numbers of counter transactions as the main reason for the branch's closure, also claiming just 153 people use the branch exclusively for their banking.
Mrs Bown added: 'With the bank reducing its opening hours recently, of course the number of counter transactions would go down, I don't feel this is a good enough reason to lose the branch.
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'For many people, standing in a bank queue is an all important social interaction - an opportunity to connect with others and for some it could be the only interaction they have.'
A letter sent to customers also contained directions to the nearest cash point, suggesting that too will close with the bank.
'I want to fight to at the very least keep the cashpoint,' Mrs Bown added. 'I realise saving the bank itself probably isn't likely, but if we can keep the cashpoint it would be a big boost.'
A statement from Barclays said: 'At Barclays Loddon branch 52pc of our customers now regularly use alternative branches, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it.'
Mrs Bown has set up a Facebook group - Loddon needs to keep a cashpoint - to gather community support for its rescue.
The bank also today announced the closure of its branch in Cromer, which will be closing on December 7.
It comes after it was also revealed that the Sprowston Road branch in Norwich was also set for closure.