BANK bosses have made a “step in the right direction” by vowing to set up weekly pop-up sites once they close down their Billericay branch later this year.

But one resident has warned more needs to be done to address the lack of face-to-face services in the town’s High Street amid a raft of bank closures.

Barclays will be closing its branch on August 24 following a drop in usage and the rise in online banking. 

It has now committed to setting up a weekly “hub” in the town for the first 12 months, meaning staff will be on hand to help customers and provide services not available online.

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Billericay resident, Nina Yates, 41, has welcomed the news but has urged banks to consider more ways to offer support to customers.

HSBC and NatWest are two other firms set to close branches in Billericay later this year.

Nina said: “An idea of a hub is brilliant, but once a week isn’t enough and Barclays aren’t the only bank that people need in Billericay.

“Billericay needs stand alone banks or a hub everyday with access to cash machines for all the different banks people use.

“What Barclays are offering is a step in the right direction, but more is needed.”

John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay, has been holding talks with Barclays over its plans to close its branch in High Street.

Discussions have centred on the banking firm putting support in place for vulnerable and disadvantaged customers, as well as exploring venues for a weekly hub.

Mr Baron said: “Whilst it is obviously disappointing that the Billericay branch is closing, I was pleased to see that much thought has gone into ensuring that the elderly and vulnerable who rely on ‘in person’ services will not be left without the means to deal with their banking needs."

Stuart Pugh, customer care leader for Barclays, added: “Whilst the decision to close a branch is never an easy one, we will still have an active presence in the community via new and alternative touch points and we’ll be sharing where our new location will be as soon as we have the details confirmed.”