Thornbury has been left reeling by the news that a High Street bank is set to close.

Barclays customers received letters this week announcing that the bank would close on May 24.

The closure comes despite an increase in the number of transactions carried out there in the last 12 months.

There had also been an increase in cash withdrawals and deposits from October 2017 to September 2018 against the previous year.

Barclays claims that 79 per cent of customers who use the Thornbury branch also use other methods of banking, such as by telephone or online.

Barclays was able to identify just 113 people who used the Thornbury branch exclusively for their banking.

In spite of this, local people were quick to voice their sadness at the closure of the bank.

Among them was Karen McCarter who had opened new accounts with Barclays just a few days before learning of the bank’s closure.

Although Karen has banked with Barclays for 30 years, she also had accounts with the Co-operative Bank, whose Thornbury branch closed in 2015.

Karen said: “We didn’t want the hassle of having to go into Bristol. We wanted to keep things in Thornbury. We actually transferred all those accounts last week.

“We actually said the reason we are moving is because Co-op have shut all their branches.

“It’s very very frustrating.I’m pretty cross.

“I just think its really sad and feel let down by Barclays.

Although Karen also uses online banking she said it was sometimes helpful to get advice from members of staff and to ‘sit opposite someone’ when discussing things.

Karen also pointed out that the new retirement flats being built will bring elderly people to the town who might not have ‘the ability to get to Westbury or Yate or have the ability to do things on the computer’.

“I sincerely hope the building will become something useful because it’s such a beautiful building,” she added.

The Thornbury branch will be hosting ‘tea and teach’ sessions for customers wishing to explore digital banking.

Customers will we able to undertake everyday transactions at the Post Office

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 Thornbury branch, nearly eight out of ten branch customers are also using other ways to do their banking such as online and by telephone.

“We hope that the availability of our closest Barclays branch at Yate, which is open six days a week including Saturdays, and access to services at the Post Office including Thornbury, Tytherington and Olveston, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”