ANOTHER bank in Wellington is planning to close its doors to customers looking to use services in the town. 

Barclays has announced it will be closing its Wellington branch on April 20. 

The move comes as NatWest closed in October 2017 and HSBC in February earlier this year. 

The closure it said to be down to the change in which customers bank.

The banking giant claims 76 per cent of its Wellington customers are also using other services, such as online banking. 

Mark Hatcliffe, Community Banking Director for Barclays Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire, said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.

"At Barclays Wellington branch, customer usage has continued to decline and additionally 76 per cent of our branch customers are also using other ways to do their banking such as online and by telephone. 

"On average nearly half  (45 per cent) of our customers now regularly use alternative branches and this figure is even higher for our business customers, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close the branch."

The bank is advising people to use its nearest Barclays branch at 46 North Street, Taunton, or access to services at the Post Office located at 20 High Street, Wellington.

John Thorne, town councillor for Wellington and Somerset county councillor for Blackdown and Neroche, said: "This is disappointing but not unexpected news, given the modern-day attitude of High Street banks to the communities from which they have made vast profits over the decades.

"At a time when we are concerned about the level of shop closures in the town, this is going to make it even more challenging for retailers to trade successfully in Wellington.

"Barclays are directing customers to use the Post Office facilities in One Stop as an alternative, but this is a service which is often stretched to the limit, with queues out to the door, and sending more people to them will make the situation even worse.

"Banks like Barclays increasingly drive customers to use online banking services, but then use the excuse of a subsequent drop in face to face business to justify closing branches.

"I could understand a downsizing in the facilities if fewer people are queueing at the counter, but a complete branch closure just smacks of pure greed.

"I use online banking quite a lot, and my bank is still making loads of money out of me, not less money. They still have their profits coming in, whether it is over the counter or over the internet.

"Barclays says it is committed to meeting the Access to Banking Standard, but this is a document which is not worth the paper it is written on. In effect, the standard merely obliges them to give customers at least 12 weeks' notice of closure and does not give customers any right to challenge the decision.

"I realise that Wellington is not alone in being a small town abandoned by the banking sector - Lloyds being the exception, for now - and I would like to see us taking advice from others who have already been through this experience so we can learn what options might be open to us.

"I did propose something similar a few months ago when the town council discussed concern about shop closures after we lost the Teares newsagency, but, unfortunately, no other councillor supported me at the time."