A BANK is to close a branch in a small town to the anger of many of its residents.

The Crook branch of Barclays is set to close on February 19, 2021, much to the dismay of residents.

After the closure, the nearest Barclays branch will be located on Bob Hardisty Drive, Bishop Auckland.

The bank has cited the evolving nature of banking for the closure, with just ten per cent of transactions taking place inside a branch.

It said bank customers have a wide range of options to complete their banking including the Barclays app, Telephone Banking, Online Banking, Video Banking.

Everyday transactions can be completed at the Post Office.

Barclays assured staff that there will be no redundancies as a result of this closure.

Colleagues working at Crook branch will be offered alternative roles in the bank.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one.

“However, customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking.

“As a result, we are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK.

“This is reflected at the Crook branch where there has been a five per cent reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020.

“In addition, over four fifths of our customers at the branch are also using different ways to bank.

“We will work with our customers and provide alternative options to ensure they can continue to manage their money and receive financial expertise when required.

“We are committed to adhering to the UK Access to Banking Standard.

“All of our customers will receive a letter, our decision to close document and posters will be displayed in branch, and colleagues will be on hand to assist customers with any concerns they may have.”

Durham County Councillor for Crook Anne Reed said: “The devastating loss of Barclays bank in Crook will impact on many, not only in Crook but further afield too such as Tow Law and Wolsingham where banks closed long ago.

“This closure means that there will be one last bank remaining in Crook.

“It means our residents will have to travel further and it also means loss of jobs and another empty building.”

Resident Malcolm Read said: “A blow to small business who deal in cash as well as people who want to, or need to, use a branch of a bank – all very well to say ‘use the Post Office’ but the Post Office is now reduced to being just a counter in a shop.”

Another resident, Frances Ann said: “ I feel sorry for those who can’t use IT, and who need to pay cash in to the bank, and will now have to travel to Bishop Auckland.

“Once again, those who have no transport need to rely on public transport to go to the bank.”