The last bank in Llanidloes will close its doors in five weeks as planned.
That was the verdict of Barclays bosses who finally met last week with local politicians and councillors, two months after announcing the closure.
It comes two years after the bank slashed its opening hours to three days per week and reassured customers it was not the first step towards shutting the branch completely.
Barclays representatives have now met with Russell George AM, Glyn Davies MP, County Councillor Phyl Davies, Llanidloes Mayor Janet Crisp, and town clerk Sonia Pritchard – but refused to meet residents to hear first hand how the closure will affect them.
During the meeting, Barclays’ Jonathan Brenchley and Raj Dhaliwal made it clear there was no backtracking on the decision, but promised to work towards solving some of the problems the closure will create.
Cllr Crisp said: “They are not going to reconsider, definitely. The question was put to them by Russell George and they said no.
“They made their decision a long time ago. Now it’s a question of what we can facilitate.
“We are hoping to have a conversation with the Post Office to see if we can get some better facilities in there.”
The loss of the last bank in town will mean no 24-hour ATM on Great Oak Street - the nearest being at Spar on Longbridge Street - and no over-the-counter banking services.
Customers will face 28-mile round trips to Newtown to access the nearest branch there, or make do with the limited banking services offered at the Post Office.
Mr George AM said: “While I’m grateful to Barclays’ management for meeting with me, Glyn Davies MP and other local representatives, I was disappointed, but sadly not surprised, that they were not able to make a commitment to Llanidloes going forward.
“I had hoped for a different response given that just two years ago, the bank had said they did not have plans to close this branch.
“However, at the meeting, Barclays did confirm that they would consider keeping an ATM in the town and it was agreed that the town council and I would get back to them with suggestions for suitable locations.
“I’m also intending to meet Post Office officials in the coming weeks with regards to the banking services they can provide.”
The possibility of a Barclays cash point has been welcomed by the town council, which has been discussing the need for another ATM in the town since May. Possible sites are now being looked into and businesses owners who can provide a two metre by two metre space are urged to contact the town clerk on 01686 412 353.
See full story in the County Times