'It has taken the heart out of the town' - Last bank in Norfolk town set to close
PUBLISHED: 17:33 04 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:33 05 February 2019
People living in a Norfolk town say they are “dismayed” after a bank announced its branch there will close.
Barclays Bank in Acle will close on May 17, almost one year to the day since a branch of Lloyds closed in the town, which is home to more than 2,000 people.
The closure will leave the town with no bank.
Dennis Fisher, 74, a trustee at the Acle Recreation Centre, said: “The majority of customers or people in Acle are a bit dismayed at the thought of it.”
He said that many elderly people in the town rely on the bank.
“And that’s all going to change now, and it means a bus to Yarmouth or Norwich,” he said.
The recreation centre, where many payments are made in cash, deals with the branch at least twice a week.
“From this centre’s point of view it is going to be causing problems,” Mr Fisher said.
After the Lloyds branch closed, some of Acle’s residents decided to transfer their money to Barclays.
One of them, Trevor Latham, 75, from Upton, said that he does not know what he will do after Barclays closes but that his options will be limited to taking a bus to Great Yarmouth or Norwich.
Helena Shreeve, 42, who works in the King’s Arms Inn opposite the bank, said: “It has taken the heart out of the town. It’s going to be like a ghost town soon.”
A steady stream of people was visiting the bank on Monday afternoon.
Donna Thompson, 46, a care assistant from Lingwood, uses the branch for transferring money to her son’s account and arranging direct debits.
She said she does not know how to do online banking and that she uses the branch at least twice a week.
In a statement, Acle Parish Council said: “As well as the village of Acle, the branch serves a large number of smaller villages and farming communities.
“The loss of the ability to talk to the staff face to face will be keenly felt by many residents, particularly by those without secure access to the internet.”
The building is owned by the parish council and Barclays Bank is contracted to continue to pay rent until at least May 2022.
In a document available on its website, the bank said the number of transactions has decreased over the last two years, with more customers doing their banking either online or over the phone.