BARCLAYS Bank is in the eye of a storm after announcing that its brank in Ludlow will close before the end of the summer.

The bank’s announcement has been criticized across the political divide.

But Barclays say the number of customers using the branch has fallen and that there are alternatives.

In information provided to Ludlow Town Council, Barclays give a number of reasons for the closure that is due to happen on August 26.

It says that the number of transactions is down and that 80 per cent of customers use alternative ways to do their banking such as online and by telephone.

Barclays say that only 251 people use the branch exclusively for their banking and that in the past 12 months 19 per cent of customers have been using nearby branches.

Furthermore, the bank says that there has been a 15 per cent increase in people using other ways of banking since 2015.

‘Before we make the decision to close any branch, we think carefully about how it has been used so far,’ said a statement from Barclays.

‘We consider how many customers have been visiting, what kind of transactions they’ve been making, and all the other ways they’ve been choosing to bank with us. We also take into consideration the availability of other branches in the wider community.’

The bank says that people can use the Post office, cash machines as well as visiting branches in Kidderminster and Leominster.

Barclays is the latest in a long list of bank closures of branches in small towns.

But before the branch in King Street closes, the bank can expect to be put under a lot of pressure to change its mind.

The closure plan has resulted in cross party opposition. Objectors say that a significant number of people are not comfortable using apps or banking online, whilst businesses need to be able to deposit cash. There is also a fear it will reduce the number of people coming into town.