Barclays Bank has confirmed plans to shut its Tenby branch on High Street before the end of the year.

The branch located on 18 High Street, alongside St Mary’s Church grounds will close on Wednesday, November 16, meaning the seaside town will be left with just one bank, HSBC in Tudor Square.

A spokesperson for Barclays said: “The decision to close a branch is never an easy one. However, customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking. As a result, we are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK.

“This is reflected at the Tenby branch where there has been a 47% reduction in counter transactions in the two years to March 2022. In addition, 86% of our Tenby customers are also using different ways to bank.

“We will work with our customers and provide alternative options to ensure they can continue to manage their money and receive financial expertise when required. This includes working with the local community to find different, more flexible ways for our colleagues to continue to provide local banking support, such as through pop-up presences.”

The closest Barclays branches will be at 32 High Street in Haverfordwest and 9/10 Guildhall Square in Carmarthen.

Barclays have stated that customers still have a wide range of options to complete their banking including the Barclays app, Telephone Banking, Online Banking and Video Banking; whilst everyday transactions can be completed at any Post Office with the closest located at South Parade in Tenby.

The spokesperson continued: “In total, 28 regular customers use this branch exclusively for their banking and do not interact with us in other ways

“The role of the physical branch is evolving, with fewer than 10% of transactions now taking place inside a branch.

We are committed to adhering to the UK Access to Banking Standard. All of our customers will receive a letter, our decision to close document and posters will be displayed in branch, and colleagues will be on hand to assist customers with any concerns they may have.

“We 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.

“We will be offering virtual ‘tea and teach’ sessions for customers wishing to explore digital banking and other alternatives to branch based banking.

“Although the branch is closing, we will still have an active presence in the community via new and alternative physical touchpoints. We plan to provide additional face-to-face access for banking services via one of our community locations – from the point of closure.

“Further details, including the timings and the location, will be communicated to our regular customers in due course,” they added.

Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales, recently urged the Welsh Government to prioritise the banking needs of rural areas as the development of a proposed new community bank for Wales continues.

Mr Campbell’s call follows the announcement earlier this year by Barclays Bank that it would be closing many branches across Wales – leaving many loyal customers facing long journeys to undertake their basic banking needs.

Recent data from the ONS showed that between 2012 and 2021, Wales saw a 36% drop in the number of bank and building society branches – with rural communities bearing the brunt of these closures.

The loss has been acutely obvious in Pembrokeshire towns such as Narberth and Fishguard which have since gained the unenviable status of ‘no bank towns’ following a series of closures of recent years.

Speaking in the Senedd recently Mr Campbell, urged the Minister to ensure many rural communities which had been left high and dry by bank closures would be prioritised in any roll-out of a Welsh Government-backed community bank.

Questioning the Minister, Mr Campbell said: “Last month, Barclays bank announced that it was closing branches across Mid and West Wales, including Welshpool, Newtown and Lampeter.

“This abandonment has become a very common pattern over recent years. Indeed, there are about 40 per cent fewer branches that now exist in Wales than there were nine years ago.

“And the impact of this is very great on our rural communities, including the elderly, small businesses, community organisations and farmers in the areas.”

Mr Campbell also highlighted the unique challenges faced by customers looking to bank in rural areas – particularly as a result of the continued poor broadband connection in many areas which makes online banking difficult.

In response, Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething MS, said: “The vision for the community bank is one that's got support on all sides of the Chamber, and that in itself is relatively unusual.

“The challenge, though, I think, is in having not just the vision, but then being able to do something where we're able to provide real-life banking services that people will want and will use, and also that we're able to have a programme of opening the physical branches that matches the actual capability.”