A MEETING to discuss the fate of one of Malvern's bank branches has been held.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has met with Barclays Bank CEO Matt Hammerstein to discuss the impact of closing the Malvern branch on local customers.

We reported previously how Barclays plans to close the site, leaving residents who wish to do their banking in person faced with having to travel to Ledbury.

At the time, the plans were heavily criticised, with a number of residents joining the call between Mrs Baldwin and Mr Hammerstein to share their views.

At the meeting, the chief executive briefed Mrs Baldwin on the bank’s decision to shut down the branch and confirmed that the closure resulted from predictions of much lower bank usage once people return to high streets in the coming months.

The Barclays management plans to meet with customers one-to-one to help them prepare for the closure.

Mrs Baldwin said: “Barclays is not the only bank withdrawing from the high street but I wanted to make sure that the chief executive is aware of the strength of feeling of local people about this decision.

“My principal concern is that the bank is abandoning some of its more vulnerable and elderly customers who only bank at the branch and don’t feel confident or safe banking any other way.

“I asked him to confirm that his team will do all it can to support these local customers many of whom have been banking with them for many decades.

“This is closure is bad news for Malvern and I hope that the bank will try and find a way to support our high streets as they carry out this branch closure programme.”

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.