Barclays is facing opposition to plans to close a County Durham town’s last bank branch.

The banking giant announced plans last week to close its branch on Front Street in Stanhope.

Residents and local councillors have spoken out against the proposed closure which could leave residents unable to access or deposit cash.

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If the plans go ahead, the branch will close its doors for the final time on April 21.

Cllr John Shuttleworth told The Northern Echo: “It is very disappointing for the local community that Barclays have decided to close Stanhope Bank.

“A lot of the local population here is over 60 and don’t have mobile banking or access to online.

“It would be really helpful if they would reconsider this decision given we have many elderly residents who use the branch together with the farming community.”

Figures from Barclays show that only 22 customers the branch regularly as their only method of banking.

79% of the Stanhope branch’s customers also banked using online or telephone banking in 2021, while 19% of customers used other nearby branches in the last 12 months.

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The closure means the company’s nearest branches for Stanhope residents are now in Middleton-in-Teesdale and Bishop Auckland.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “Our customers’ behaviour has changed significantly in recent years, with the majority now choosing online banking.  This is reflected at Stanhope branch, and as we adapt, we are finding new ways to support our customers by maintaining our community presence with options for customers who still require in-person support.”

“In Stanhope we plan to open a Barclays Local – a pop-up cashless banking site where customers can meet a colleague face-to-face for banking support, as they would in a branch and without the need to travel.

“We are currently working with the local community to identify a suitable location and will announce details once confirmed.”

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