A HIGH street Barclays will close next year after bosses found “less than ten customers” use it as their only way of banking.

In the latest blow to bank users in south Essex, the Barclays in Rayleigh High Street will close its doors for good on March 22, 2024.

South Essex has been hit by a series of bank closures in recent years, sparking concerns for the elderly and small businesses that rely on using a bank in person and online.

To mitigate concerns, Barclays has insisted it will “stay in the community” however details are yet to be finalised.

On Canvey, Barclays runs a “pop up” bank on a weekly basis in a church while the first banking hub in Essex opened in Rochford in a bid to give residents face-to-face banking.

Rochford Council chairman and Wheatley ward councillor, Jack Lawmon said: “I find it very disappointing, it’s a huge bank. I don’t see why it couldn’t be downsized.

“I am myself a Barclays customer, so it affects me too.

“It’s a busy town, it’s a main service and they are going to take away a main facility.

“All the other banks in Rayleigh are half the size. The excuses of saying we have cash tills isn’t really good enough, as not everybody can use them and many rely on going in for face to face services.

“They’ve been in this town for decades so it is disappointing and a lot of people will be really shocked.

“Savers next door has been shut for all this time, it makes you wonder how long Barclays has been thinking about closing, which is suspicious.

“It’s a big building so I don’t know what will go in there and because it is so big it will be hard to fill. I am disappointed for everyone here.

“It will have a major impact.”

Customers with a personal or business account with Barclays can use the Post Office to do their banking.

Alternatively, the nearest branches are a 20-minute drive, or 40-minute bus to Southend High Street or about an 18-minute drive or one-hour bus to Barclays in Basildon Town Square.

A spokesman for Barclays said: “We want to reassure you that we’re here to help. We’ll stay in your community and you’ll be able to talk to us in person.

“We are finalising the details of where we will be based, and when, to support you with your banking, and we’ll share the details locally once confirmed.

"We will be available to help you with things like day-to-day banking queries and helping you manage your money, though there won’t be access to cash at this site.”