THE closure of a bank offering full customer services in Tavistock has been replaced with a stand in the town’s indoor market.

Barclays Bank closed last Friday and has set up a replacement stand in the pannier market manned by their own staff on Tuesday’s Wednesday’s and Friday’s 9.30am to 3.30pm.

However, the bank will be cashless, meaning deposits of cash and cheques will have to be made through the post office. The cash machines have also been removed, although other bank’s ATMs remain.

The closure of the second town centre bank in a year raised concern the reduction in banking services will disadvantage people on the lowest incomes.

Tavistock Town Council has been working with Barclays to provide a so-called banking hub to benefit businesses and domestic customers.

Tavistock councillor Ursula Mann said: ‘This is very welcome and great that it’s opening before the branch closes.’ She congratulated council clerk Carl Hearn for ‘accomplishing it so quickly for residents without good digital options for banking.’

Michael Watts, Barclays Bank customer care director for Devon and Cornwall, said: ‘Although Barclays Tavistock branch is closing, we will retain an active presence in the community with the opening of our new Barclay’s Local in the pannier market.

‘We offer face-to-face financial support and education for customers, without the need for them to travel. Customers will be able to access a range of services, including financial reviews, balance requests and have support with digital banking.’

The bank has always said that banking needs have changed in the past few years with customer numbers using its Tavistock and other branches declining dramatically, in common with other banks. This was due to increasing use of on-line banking services, requiring less face-to-face customer services.

Tavistock council was initially looking at the option of a ‘banking hub’, with several banks manning face-to-face services from one site. A council spokesman said: ‘The loss of the local branch for this important and longstanding banking service is most disappointing.

‘After reviewing the position earlier in the year the council and Barclays partnered to enable the delivery of a legacy banking service from the pannier market, on designated days, to continue to help those customers who need personal access to non-cash services.’