BARCLAYS’ decision to close its Hagley branch has been criticised by local councillor Steve Colella.
The bank will close its doors for the final time on November 20.
Coun Colella said he was concerned as this meant the village would only have the Post Office and Lloyd’s Bank.
He added he feared Barclays’ head office was unaware of the increase in population Hagley will be seeing in the coming years.
“I’d expect many of these will require banking services and certainly require the use of the cash machine – I find it a strange decision and possibly short sighted on the bank’s part,” Coun Colella said.
“This type of closure is another example how important high street businesses and services are being replaced by online business.
“Banking is one of those services where from time to time benefits from face to face business.
“I’m suggesting customers of the bank and users of the cash machine contact the Barclays Bank branch in Hagley to register their objection to the closure and encourage its head office to keep this branch open.”
Coun Colella said the bank was very well used as was the cash machine, which they would also be losing.
Raj Dhaliwal, Barclays’ community leader, said the way customers undertook their banking was changing as people increasingly used online, telephone and mobile devices.
And, they therefore had to evolve the shape and size of their branch network in response to changing customer behaviour.
He added at their Hagley branch the customer usage had declined by four per cent in the last year alone and a large proportion of their customers were regularly using other nearby branches which was why they had taken the difficult decision to close the branch.
“We do not take the decision to close any branch lightly. We hope the availability of nearby branches, access to services at the local post office and our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers,” Mr Dhaliwal said.
All customers will receive a letter, posters will also be displayed in the branch and members of staff will also be on hand to assist customers with any concerns they might have.