BARCLAYS is closing its Stourbridge branch in a blow to the town.

The bank has announced that the branch on High Street will close on Friday December 15.

It is blaming a drop in customers using the branch as people turn to online banking with the firm saying fewer than 10 per cent of transactions now take place inside a branch.

A spokesperson for Barclays said only "25 regular customers use this branch exclusively for their banking and do not interact with us in other ways."

They said: “Our customers’ behaviour has changed significantly in recent years, with the majority now choosing online banking.

"This is reflected at the Stourbridge branch, and as we adapt, we are finding new ways to support our customers by maintaining our community presence with options for customers who still require in-person support.

“In Stourbridge 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.”

Everyday transactions can be completed at any Post Office with the nearest on High Street, Stourbridge.

The bank has written to customers informing them of the closure.

The firm said it will be offering virtual ‘tea and teach’ sessions for customers to show them how to use digital banking and other alternatives.

Barclays said it is rolling out the largest network of community banking sites in the UK, with staff in settings such as libraries, community centres and shopping centres.

Over 250 are already open, and Barclays said "this supports customers in a much more flexible and sustainable model, in places where branch use has declined."

Barclays will shut at least 165 of its bank branches throughout 2023 and 2024 – nearly a third of its entire UK network.