Banking giant Barclays has opened a consultation service in Fakenham in an attempt to make up for closing its bank branch there. 

The firm's Market Place branch closed on October 6 - adding to Fakenham's banking exodus which saw its HSBC branch close in May and NatWest shut in August

The new service, dubbed 'Barclays Local', means bank employees will be at Fakenham Community Centre in Oak Street four days a week to answer "day-to-day banking
queries" and help with managing money. 

But it is what Barclays describes as a "cashless service" - customers will not be able to access their money or make deposits.  

A spokesman said: “We are committed to delivering flexible ways for customers to physically interact with us.

"This now includes over 270 banking sites located in town and city centres, plus presence in community centres, libraries and business hubs where we offer drop-in and pre-booked appointments, along with the support of our Barclays van.”

Barclays said it planned to run free, digital skills workshops and fraud and scams awareness sessions at the centre.

Among Barclays' customers who are already missing the presence of a high street bank branch is Alie May-Hannam, landlady at the Crown pub in Fakenham's Market Place. 

Ms May-Hannam, who has been a business customer of the bank for the past seven years, treated the branch's staff to breakfast on their final day.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Alie May-Hannam, landlady at The CrownAlie May-Hannam, landlady at The Crown (Image: Alie May-Hannam)

Ms May-Hannam said: “It is an incredibly sad day for our town as another bank has closed its doors for the last time, and I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all of the fabulous staff at Barclays that have made my weekly banking a pleasure.

“I wanted to wish them all the best in their new chapters.”

The Barclays Local service will be open from 9.30-5pm on Monday, Tuesday and Friday with a 1pm-2pm lunch closure, and 9.30am-5pm on Thursday with a 1pm-3pm lunch closure.