A TOWN bank branch is set to close in the new year after it saw a fall in customers.

Barclays bank in Witham has announced it will close its doors in January.

The branch, which is based on Newland Street, will finally close on January 7 after it has seen a drop in customer numbers using over-the-counter services.

Barclays has released a report outlining the reasons for the closure on their website.

It says fewer than 100 customers use the branch exclusively for their banking.

In the past 12 months more than 25 per cent of its customers have been using nearby branches and 87 per cent of the branch’s customers also use other methods to bank, including online and by phone.

It comes during a national fall in in-person encounters with fewer than 10 per cent of transactions now taking place inside a branch.

The closure of the branch means Barclays customers will need to journey to another branch to carry out face-to-face transactions.

The nearest available branch is based on High Street in Maldon.

Everyday transactions can also be completed at the Post Office with the closest on Newland Street in Witham.

The bank also insisted it does not intend to make anyone redundant as a result of the closure, with staff at the branch being offered alternative roles with Barclays.

They added they will be engaging with Witham businesses and the wider community to discuss the alternative ways customers will be able to carry out banking locally, and will be offering virtual ‘tea and teach’ sessions so customers can learn about digital banking.

A Barclays spokesman 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.

“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.”

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