Yet another bank branch earmarked for the chop

Barclays Newtown branch at Asda Wigan
Barclays Newtown branch at Asda Wigan

The axe is set to fall on yet another Wigan bank branch.

The latest victim of the remorseless march of technology will be the Barclays outlet within the Asda hypermarket at Newtown.

It is one of another 54 branches it is planning to close down in the coming weeks and Newtown will cash its final cheque on October 27.

The move will bring its total number of Barclays closures in 2017 to 67 across the UK.

In a statement, the bank said along with a number of high street lenders, the closures are linked to the growing demand for digital services - such as the increasing shift towards immediate online and app banking facilities.

A spokesman confirmed the closures will not result in any job losses, adding: “The number of physical Barclays branches will reduce overall but our branch network and the colleagues who work in them remain a vital part of our offering. We will continue to evolve the shape and size of our branch network, as well as improving and investing in the experience in-branch. We also provide our customers with a range of digital channels.”

There was a time when there was a bank to be found in every modest-sized Wigan community upwards - sometimes several per town and village. But it was as early as the mid-1990s that branch closures began, one of the first being the NatWest in Shevington. Few townships have been spared since as transactions are increasingly carried out digitally. According to consumer platform Which?, over 1,000 high street bank branches were axed between January 2015 and January 2017 alone, with HSBC the worst offender.