THE last remaining bank in Newcastle Emlyn is to close.

A notice appeared in the window of the Barclays branch at Cawdor Terrace this morning (August 17), saying it would be shutting on Friday, November 16.

Customers are being advised to use neighbouring branches at Cardigan, Carmarthen and Aberaeron or to use the Post Office.

The decision follows hot on the heels of the announcement by Lloyds Bank that it is to close its branch in the town in January next year. NatWest and HSBC have already closed their doors.

It is a bitter blow for the town and one shopkeeper said: “It’s gutting. If there are no banks, it will not give people a reason to come here. The mart has just been taken over and it has been really busy but now no-one has anywhere to bank.

“It’s a real kick in the stomach but the problem is the people making these decisions have no idea of where Newcastle Emlyn is and the impact closing the branch has on towns.

“If what has happened in Llandysul is anything to go by, it could have a huge effect.

“There is a fantastic range and diversity of shops here and we just hope people see that, value the service we provide and keep coming into town.”

County councillor Hazel Evans described the decision as ‘dreadful news’.

“I cannot understand why the banks cannot share a premises, they have all the technology they need to do that,” she added.

Stephanie Smith, Barclays’ community banking director for the area said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.

“At Barclays Newcastle Emlyn branch, customer usage has continued to decline (nine per cent in the last 24 months), which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it.

“We hope that the availability of our other Barclays branches at Cardigan and Carmarthen and access to banking services at the local Post Office currently located at 6 Sycamore Street, Newcastle Emlyn, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”