A BANK branch in Malvern is set to close, leaving customers having to travel to Ledbury for their nearest service.

Barclays confirmed the branch in Worcester Road, which has around 50 regular customers, will be closing down in August, with the bank saying reduced footfall and increased online banking means it is no longer viable for the town.

A spokesman said footfall at the bank had reduced by 22 per cent over the last two years, with 86 per cent of its customers now using alternative ways of banking.

They added: "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.

"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."

The bank will close for the final time on August 12, meaning the nearest branch is in Ledbury, 7.7 miles away.

Despite this, everyday transactions can still be completed at the post office in Abbey Road.

Barclays also confirmed they are not planning to make any staff redundant, instead offering "alternate roles" with the company.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin, herself a customer of the branch, called for a re-think, saying she had been in touch with the chief executive of Barclays to discuss the issue.

She said: "I’m a regular user of the Malvern Barclays Bank and I know from first-hand how busy it can be, so I challenge the bank’s report which claims it isn’t used much.

"I can understand that banks have seen much less footfall in the last year, but I simply don’t believe that this particular branch is in decline.

"The staff told me as much when I met with them in 2019.

"The banks seem to be taking steps to use coronavirus as cover to make difficult business decisions but in this case, I have written to the bank’s chief executive and asked him to look again at the statistics underlying this decision."

All customers will receive a letter about the decision, with the decision to close document and posters to be displayed in branch.

In addition, Barclays will be offering "tea and teach" sessions for customers wishing to explore online banking and other alternative methods of managing their money.