THE business community and residents of Trowbridge have been dealt yet another blow after Barclays Bank announced it is to close its branch in Fore Street.

The branch will close for good on Friday, September 2 and follows similar Barclays Bank closures in Devizes, Marlborough, Warminster and Westbury.

On May 31, Barclays disclosed it will be closing a further 27 branches this year, but the Trowbridge closure was not among them.

One customer said: “This is not good for Wiltshire citizens with the demise of their Westbury, Devizes and Warminster branches.

“Not everyone has access to the internet or have a mobile phone or tablet to do online banking.

“The queue regularly goes out to the street outside at Trowbridge, they need face-to-face interaction and travel miles to get there for a reason.

“With many technophobe people this is not ideal for them but all bank staff actively promote internet use and prefer us not to visit their branches, they are doing themselves out of their own jobs.”

The major high street banks and building societies, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide and Santander, are all closing branches because a lack of footfall means it costs too much to keep many open.

Barclays cited the rise in banking via digital channels as the reason behind the latest closures, with its digital customers growing to 10 million over the last nine years.

In a statement, Barclays said: “We continue to review and adjust our branch footprint to ensure it reflects the way that our customers are increasingly choosing to do their banking.

“We will always give twelve weeks’ notice of any branch closures, explaining the rationale for the decision, as well as highlighting alternative branches and ways to bank.

“This includes working with the local community to find different, more flexible ways for our colleagues to continue to provide local banking support, such as through pop-up presences.”

Having already shut 63 branches since the start of the year, the latest announcement by Barclays will bring the bank's planned and completed total branch closures to 103 by the end of this year.

Barclays closed its Devizes branch on February 18, and the Marlborough branch closed on September 24 last year.

Other banks have also closed branches in Wiltshire. Last year, Lloyds closed its branches in Amesbury and Melksham.

HSBC and Nationwide have also closed branches across the country as customers increasingly migrate to online banking.

Other nearby banks are: