A POPULAR bank is closing one of its last remaining Colchester branches at the end of the year.

Barclays sent a letter to residents saying the branch, in Cotman Road, in Prettygate, will be closing on November 23.

Bank bosses say it was due to a change in the way people do their banking, with 78 per cent of regular customers at that particular branch using online or phone banking.

Only 192 customers come into the bank regularly and do not use any other method of banking.

The letter said: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one. However, we are finding customers are increasingly using other ways to do their everyday banking.

“Taking into consideration the alternative ways to bank that are available in the area, we have made the decision to close the branch.

“We are committed to supporting customers and the community as much as we can during and after the closure.

“Over the coming weeks we will be speaking to our customers and contacting members of the local community, to understand the concerns they may have.”

A booklet containing more information about why the closure is happening can be found in store, in Cotman Road.

Two weeks before the branch closes, a second booklet will be sent out containing feedback from customers.

The closest branch will then be the one in Colchester High Street.

There will be no redundancies.

Once the branch closes, staff will work at neighbouring branches.

Ian Lovelock, community banking director for Barclays Essex, said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.

“We hope the availability of the branches in Colchester High Street, Tiptree and West Mersea and access to services at the nearby Post Office in The Commons, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”

Beverly Davies, who represents Prettygate on Colchester Council, said: “What I will say is Barclays has given residents a great deal of notice, which we thank them for.

“The branch is very popular, I think because it has ample parking, and I know of people who travel from other parts of Colchester to use it because they don’t want to have to park up in the town centre and walk through the town with whatever money the might have to deposit.”

Mrs Davies also said a deal must be struck on the future of the building, which sits opposite a site which had been earmarked for a Tesco store until the supermarket giant pulled out.

The Conservative councillor added: “The last thing we want is a large building which is not being used and is sitting there empty.”