Newent set to lose its only bank branch

By Carmelo Garcia in Business

’EAGLE’ bank Barclays has announced its spreading its wings and leaving Newent for good just over year after black horse bank Lloyds galloped from the town.

The Broad Street branch is set to close on November 10 leaving the town without a single bank or building society.

Local customers have been told to go online or head to Ledbury or Ross to do their banking include Colin Rooke, who runs the Italian Kitchen on Broad Street, said it will be a real nuisance and added: “We use the bank to get change for the weekend but once it’s gone I suppose we will have to travel to Ross."

Suzie Matthews, who owns the Country Corner, said she was shocked by the news of the closure.

“I’m sure Barclays sent communication out last year that they were not going to leave the town,” she said.

“It impacted us when Lloyds closed. People come into the town for cash and to buy a few items. If they need to go elsewhere they probably won’t be spending their money here as much.”

Councillor Julia Gooch (Ind, Newent Central), a local trader and district cabinet member for town centres, business support and jobs, said it was a very sad day for the town.

“It’s a bombshell for me. I will be writing to local MP Mark Harper to see if there is anything we can do.”

Adrian Davies, Barclays community banking director for the area, said more and more customers are using online and telephone banking.

“At Barclays Newent branch, customer usage has continued to decline and 57 per cent of our customers now regularly use alternative branches, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it,” he said.

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