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Needham Market: Barclays bosses say no to petition calling for town's only bank to stay open

PUBLISHED: 15:21 22 August 2014 | UPDATED: 15:21 22 August 2014

Feelings have been running high in Needham Market as residents, businesses and customers protest over the impending closure of the Barclays Bank branch

Feelings have been running high in Needham Market as residents, businesses and customers protest over the impending closure of the Barclays Bank branch

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Barclays has dismissed a petition signed by more than 2,000 people demanding a town's only bank is saved from closure.

Campaigners headed to London earlier in the month to hand over the document which called for the branch in Needham Market to remain open.

But the bank’s bosses have said the way customers do their banking is changing – with the internet playing a larger role.

Terry Staff, Barclays’ community banking leader for Suffolk and Norfolk, said: “At the Needham Market branch, customer usage has been declining over a number of years and more than two-thirds of customers now regularly use our alternative branches, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close the branch on Friday September 5.

“We hope the range of alternatives, including digital banking, nearby branches and Post Office access will help to ease the transition for our customers as we move out of Needham Market.”

When it was announced that Barclays intended to shut the branch in June, businesses, residents and the town council pulled together to fight it.

They argue the town’s economy will suffer when the branch goes and asked why, when smaller towns like Eye still have a Barclays, it could not stay open.

There are also concerns that older residents and those with mobility issues will struggle to get to other branches. Barclays has since announced longer opening hours at its Stowmarket branch which is less than four miles away.

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