A COUNCILLOR has met with bosses from a town’s bank to see what can be done to stop its closure.

Barclays in the Crook announced that it was to close on Friday, February 19.

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

With the closure of the bank in Crook it would mean residents would have to travel to Bishop Auckland or Stanhope for the nearest Barclays.

However, within days of the announcement a petition was set up in a bid to keep Barclays open.

It has attracted a huge response from residents in the area with almost 1,500 signatures in total.

The petition is in the process of being submitted to Barclays Bank for consideration.

Durham County Councillor for Crook, Anne Reed, who met with local Barclays bosses said: “It was a fruitful meeting as we discussed all the issues surrounding the proposed closure of the Crook Branch.

"I was particularly concerned about the older generation in terms of being able to access their banks accounts, withdrawing and depositing cash.”

Fellow County Councillor Patricia Joplin said: "Crook is very badly served when it comes to banking.

"It would appear that Barclays have little regard for the demographics of the population. There is a large amount of elderly residents, and a significant number are without computer access.

"I would like to think they would reconsider their decision."

Barclays intends that some services will be conducted from the Post Office, enabling the older generation to continue with banking face to face.

For advice on mortgages and loans, Barclays are looking at installing advisors into community buildings.

In addition, they are running trials on a community vehicle, which will be visiting towns and villages offering advice and help, attracting new customers and setting up accounts.

As for Barclays bank staff, it has been suggested that overseas contact centres would be transferred back to the UK and jobs would become available for existing staff.

Jon Clowes Market Director is urging customers to call in to their local branch should they have any questions or contact them on 03457-345345.