PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson says he is 'appalled' at Barclays decision to close its bank in Barnoldswick.

Barclays said yesterday that the branch in Church Street would close on April 14 along with 14 others across the country; it has already announced the closure of 11 other branches this year, including its Settle branch on February 18.

The bank says it will maintain a physical presence in Barnoldswick and is looking for site for a 'Barclays Local' , where people will still be able to talk to a member of staff in person, but Mr Stephenson says he is angry that no consultation took place beforehand and is seeking an urgent meeting with the bank.

He said: “Barclay’s decision to close its Barnoldswick branch has shocked me and will be of deep concern to residents of Barnoldswick and the surrounding West Craven area. It is disgraceful that they did not consult with those elected to represent the town before making this outrageous decision.

“This will leave a major town without a proper bank branch, in breach of commitments made by the high street banking sector around people having access to banking. For those who rely on the branch for their banking and don’t want to bank online, this will be a hammer blow."

Mr Stephenson said he only found out about the closure after being contacted by concerned residents.

He said: “I am pursuing an urgent meeting with Barclays. They must provide the town with clearer information about their plan to serve their customers and to honour their commitments.”

Barclays says no one will be made redundant as a direct result of the closure and it will be 'proactively engaging with local businesses and the wider community to discuss the alternative ways customers will be able to undertake their banking locally.'

A Barclays spokesperson said: “Our customers’ behaviour has changed significantly in recent years, with the majority now choosing online banking.

"This is reflected at Barnoldswick branch, and as we adapt, we are finding new ways to support our customers by maintaining our community presence with options for customers who still require in-person support.”

“In Barnoldswick we plan to open a Barclays Local – a pop-up cashless banking site where customers can meet a colleague face-to-face for banking support, as they would in a branch and without the need to travel. We are currently working with the local community to identify a suitable location and will announce details once confirmed.”

The nearest Barclays branches to Barnoldswick are Skipton and Burnley.

HSBC in Skipton High Street is due to close on June 13.