BARCLAYS in Skipton, which only a few months ago extended its opening hours to include Fridays, has announced it will close in March next year.

In a letter to customers, the bank's 'customer care' director for Yorkshire, said it had not been an easy decision and he appreciated it 'might not be welcome news'.

The bank would still be 'part of the community' in Skipton, he continued, and was currently finalising what that meant - some sort of Barclays 'Local' where customers would have 'banking support' without the need to travel.

He then went on to say the bank was keen to hear what people thought, and would be speaking to customers, the town's MP, councillors, and so on.

People were also invited to 'visit the branch' and 'speak to a member of the team'.

They'd better be happy to wait, as any customer of Skipton Barclays knows, there is always a queue of people waiting to speak to someone about some issue that simply can't be sorted out on the phone or online.

Nowadays there is just the one member of staff at the counter dealing with an always long line of customers waiting patiently. Meanwhile, there are several other members of staff dealing with all the other 'customers', some of who need help operating the ATM machine, or who want advice.

There are also those who have been told by someone on the end of the phone to 'go into branch' because their particular issue just cannot be sorted out on the phone.

Many of those people milling about looking increasingly anxious are older people clutching paying in books who when told doing it online is quick and easy just shake their heads. It is them who are being let down here, and no one seems to care.