THE closure of Powys' last Barclays bank branch in Builth Wells has left locals seething, with the town council revealing that it only found out about proposals the day before they were announced.

Barclays announced on Friday (December 1) that its sole remaining branch in Powys, in Builth Wells, will shut next March, becoming a Barclays Local that will be a cashless site where customers can get financial advice.

Builth Wells Town Council said Barclays had shown nothing but “disdain” for the local community and slammed the way the decision had been made as “shameful”.

Despite claiming that any decisions over the future of the bank would be conducted in an open manner, the council revealed they only found out about Barclays’ decision on Thursday, when Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones broke the news on her social media platforms.


“The town council only learned of the proposed closure yesterday (Thursday, November 30), after MP Fay Jones’ post,” said Builth mayor Mark Hammond, in a post on the town council Facebook page.

“The distain Barclays have shown to the community in the way this has been communicated is shameful, as the branch is an important hub for Builth town and its surrounding neighbours.

“Condescendingly saying that we can just use the branches in Carmarthen and Hereford (50 miles and 40 miles away respectively) shows a total lack of empathy and tack.

“What is exasperating is the fact that Barclays claim to have been working with the community to identify premises for a ‘pop-up’ cashless banking site to be situated.

“I don’t know who they are working with in the town, but it appears to have been done behind closed doors and in a secretive manner.

“Anyone from the community who has worked covertly with the bank in the planning this closure has done us no favours, as the decision will disadvantage many people in our community, particularly those that do not use online banking and/or prefer to use cash.

“The town council will continue to monitor the situation, with the hope that Barclays Bank liaises with us in respect of this issue and its ramifications.”

MP Ms Jones responded to the post, saying: “I’m very sorry you’ve been treated in this way and I will convey my disappointment to Barclays.”

County Times:  The Builth branch will close on March 6, 2024. The Builth branch will close on March 6, 2024. (Image: Matt Jones/Google Street View)

She lambasted the decision last week, taking to social media to voice her anger. “I am furious to learn that Barclays in Builth Wells will be closing in March next year,” she said.

“This is not 24 hours after Lloyds Bank withdrew their mobile service in Crickhowell and other branches in Ystradgynlais, Brecon and Llandrindod have closed in recent years.

“This is a huge blow. It feels like the banks are abandoning rural areas at speed. Rural, often vulnerable residents, are being left behind for the sake of profit.

“I will be contacting the banking minister to arrange an urgent meeting to discuss what can be done to make sure my constituents are properly serviced by the high street banks.”

Ms Jones said she was planning to arrange a meeting with Barclays chiefs and would invite representatives from the town council to attend.

The Broad Street branch is set to close on March 6 next year but the bank have said they do not intend to make anyone redundant as a direct result of this closure.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “As visits to branches continue to fall, with the majority of people preferring to bank online, we need to adapt to provide the best service for all our customers.

“This is reflected at Builth Wells, where we are delivering new ways to support our customers and the community with options for those who need in-person services.

“In Builth Wells we plan to open a Barclays Local – a cashless banking site where customers can meet a colleague face-to-face for banking support, as they would in a branch and without the need to travel.

“We are currently working with the local community to identify a suitable location and will announce details once confirmed.”

County Times:

The new Barclays Local that will be available is described as a flexible community presence in places such as town halls and libraries, mobile vans and banking pods. Customers will be able to access a range of in-person support such as help with digital banking, financial reviews, balance checks, transfers and bill payments.

Barclays said the Builth closure decision had been taken due to a drop in use of the branch, saying that fewer than 40 regular customers use this branch exclusively for their banking.

They added that regular customers will receive a letter and documents about their decision to close, while posters will be displayed in branch and colleagues will be on hand “to assist customers with any concerns they may have”.

They said that they will be “proactively engaging with local businesses” and the wider community to discuss the alternative ways customers will be able to undertake their banking locally.

The closure means the closest Barclays branches to customers in Powys will now be in Hereford and Carmarthen.