A market town is to lose its last remaining bank after bosses said it had just 12 regular customers. The Watton, Norfolk, branch of Barclays will close on 3 May after a 64% reduction in counter transactions in the past year.
The bank said it would keep a presence in the town via one of its “community locations”.
Watton’s mayor, Susan Hebborn, said there would be a post office but the rotary club’s secretary was “appalled”
Roy Challand, secretary of Watton Rotary Club, said: “When we moved here 23 years ago, there were three banks and two building societies and now we’re going to have none.
“In that time, however, the town has more than doubled, it just seems crazy.
“I’m quite elderly myself and there are older people in the town who can’t do online.
“Some of us like to use cash and at the rotary club we raise money and that’s normally done by cash transactions, we don’t run around with card readers.”
Barclays said the way people bank today was “unrecognizable from 50 years ago”.
It said the number of banking transactions that took place in a branch was less than 10%.
The firm said in Watton there had been a 64% reduction in counter transactions in the past year, compared to the 12 months to March 2020.
It said 86% of its customers at the branch used alternative ways to bank, including via the telephone, online, and mobile apps.
The company said just 12 regular customers used the branch exclusively for their banking needs and staff would now be getting in touch with regular and vulnerable users.
Ms. Hebborn said if there was not enough footfall then Barclays was “justified” in closing.
She said the loss of the bank would mean another empty building on the high street but added, “hopefully, that will be short term”.
“We have to look forward to the future.”