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  1. Chris Halpin

Hardest hit as 1 in 5 Midlands' banks close - full report

Nearly 20 percent of high street banks and building societies have closed in the Midlands in the last 25 years.

Latest research has found those living in the poorest communities have been hardest hit.

The elderly and the vulnerable are also suffering with local branches closing their doors.

One community in Solihull is losing its last local bank after more than 50 years in business.

Chris Halpin reports.

Barclays: 'we won't abandon communities'

In a statement about the closure of one of its branches in Birmingham, Barclays said it is committed to ensuring it has branches where customers need and use them.

It says it regrets that in some places, there are branches where customer numbers are falling and it is 'unsustainable' to keep them open.

Marston Green it says is one of them. The bank's statement goes on to say:

The way people are choosing to do their banking is changing and we need to make changes to continue to meet our customer’s needs.

We won’t leave a community without access to financial services, although that might be through the Post Office, which provides all the same account services to our customers as our smaller branches do.

The decision to close Marston Green branch has not been taken lightly but is due to the continuing declining use of the branch since 2006.

Nearly half the people who use the branch also use one of our other nearby branches.

We have three further branches within an approximate 5 miles radius of Marston Green at Sheldon, Castle Bromwich and Solihull.

In addition, personal customers can carry out their transactional banking at the nearby Post Office.”

– Barclays Bank spokeswoman

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Hundreds signed petition to save last local bank

Campaigners showing their support for their local bank at a protest in July Credit: Linda Poulson

There's been a strong campaign to try and save Marston Green's last local bank.

When the bank notified its customers of the planned closure by letter, resident Linda Poulson quickly arranged a petition which was signed by more than 1000 people.

Protests outside the Barclays branch on Station Road have also been taking place.

Caroline Spelman MP took the petition to Parliament Credit: Linda Poulson

Despite their local MP Caroline Spelman presenting the petition in Parliament, the campaigners were unable to reverse Barclays' decision to close the branch, which is due to shut on September 20th

Barclays says fewer customers have been using the branch since 2006, and as people's banking methods are changing, with more choosing to manage their money online, the way the bank operates also needs to change.

Campaigner: 'our bank is precious to us'

Linda Poulson has helped organise a campaign to save the Barclays branch in Marston Green from closure.

In the week the bank sent letters to residents notifying them of the plans, she organised a petition which more than 1000 people signed.

She says the bank's motto is 'Protect what's precious to you' - she explains this is exactly what people in the village are trying to do.

Bank closure resident says 'all our banks are gone'

Alan Sweet says when he moved into Marston Green in Solihull 50 years ago there used to be two banks.

He lives just one property away from the only remaining bank in the village.

But Barclays is closing its branch there on the 20th September. Mr Sweet says it's vital for older people, and they shouldn't be forced to have to go online to manage their money.

"Poorest communites hit the hardest" by East Midlands' bank closures

Some of the East Midlands' poorest communities have been hit the hardest by the thousands of bank and building society closures over the past 25 years. Research by Nottingham University shows that nearly seven and a half thousand branches have shut between 1989 and 2012.

The report shows that many of the communities hit by closures are in areas of high unemployment. Phil Brewster reports.

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Barclays Bank set to close in Marston Green

Barclays Bank is set to close in Marston Green, Solihull.

The Barclays Bank in Marston Green set for closure Credit: ITV News Central

A new report from researchers at the University of Nottingham has found that 40 per cent of high street banks have closed in the last 25 years.

The bank is due to close next month Credit: ITV News Central

Number of banks 'has been in decline since 1989'

A longitudinal analysis of the major banks and building societies reveals that the number of branches in Britain has been in constant decline since 1989, although the pace of decline has fluctuated.

The rate of decline for major building societies has been slower than that of banks, with the number of branches falling by a third.

– Dr Shaun French, Professor Andrew Leyshon and Sam Meek, University's School of Geography

Fewer banks on high streets

A report by researchers at Nottingham University has revealed that 40% of high street banks have closed in the last 25 years, making a total of 7,500.

40% of high street banks have closed in the last 25 years Credit: Jeff Moore/Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

Inner city areas of high unemployment have taken the brunt of the closures.

The report was conducted by comparing two strands of analysis; the first records and compares the location of branches and the second is a cross-sectional analysis of all branches in 2012.

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