ONE year ago there were four banks in Emsworth, but now another of the town’s banks has closed its doors.
And residents and traders have expressed fears for the town’s economy following the closure of Barclays bank last week, leaving only NatWest.
The news follows the closure of Lloyds in September and the Nationwide Building Society last year.
Emsworth councillor Brendan Gibb-Gray said the thriving coastal town had dozens of small independent businesses which need the banks.
People will be forced to travel to Havant or Chichester, he said. “Sadly this closure will lead to fewer people coming to the town and our independent shops and services could suffer.
“The closure is a big shock. Like its competitor, Lloyds, it was a permanent fixture and seemed to be here for the long term.
“The closure of two banks in quick succession will hit business confidence.”
A Barclays spokesperson said: “In response to this change in customer behaviour we must evolve our business to meet their needs.
“At Barclays in Emsworth usage was declining and around 70 per cent of customers regularly use alternative branches.
“Our two colleagues at Barclays in Emsworth were consulted about the changes and will transfer to other branches nearby.
“In addition to the option of online, telephone and mobile banking customers can undertake everyday transactions at any Post Office with the closest being at 2 High Street, Emsworth, a short walk from the branch.”