Community leaders in Suffolk market towns have expressed fears their remaining banks could shut after a raft of branch closures were announced.

Barclays has confirmed it is shutting its branch in Framlingham, meaning the town will be without a bank after the closure in late August.

Banks are also disappearing from high streets across the county – with Barclays also shutting in Newmarket, Mildenhall and Sudbury over the summer and HSBC also closing in Sudbury and Beccles in the coming weeks.

East Anglian Daily Times: Barclays in Framlingham is closing later this yearBarclays in Framlingham is closing later this year

In the wake of the closures, councillors representing Southwold and Saxmundham – which only have a Barclays and an HSBC open respectively – have expressed their concerns over the futures of the branches.

David Beavan, district councillor for Southwold, said any future bank closure could have an impact on the resort's busy tourism trade.

East Anglian Daily Times: David Beavan, who represents SouthwoldDavid Beavan, who represents Southwold (Image: Sarah Lucy Brown)

He said: "We've always been worried the Barclays is on its last legs. It's the way it's going, unfortunately.

"It would be a problem if it closed, especially for the older generation. For some, a visit to the bank really helps with isolation.

"Without the bank people will be lonelier and struggle to get money out. We want people to be able to get their money and spend it in the town.

"But you can't buck the trend."

Richard Smith, county councillor for Blything, which includes Saxmundham, added: "We're anxious about a closure. The Post Office does provide a range of services for banking, but not the full range or the convenience.

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk county councillor Richard Smith, who represents Saxmundham in his Blything divisionSuffolk county councillor Richard Smith, who represents Saxmundham in his Blything division (Image: Suffolk County Council)

"We are concerned about it, but the facts are that not so many people use these banks regularly, so I can understand the reasons why they might close.

"But they are vital to people who don't use things like mobile or online banking.

"I haven't heard that HSBC might close, but I really hope it could stay. It's a bit of a dilemma." 

Halesworth is already without a bank after its Barclays closed several years ago.

Beth Keys-Holloway, district councillor for Halesworth & Blything, said: "It's very difficult without a bank, unless you're happy to use services online. For the older generations it has made things very tricky.

"We have the Post Office, which is good, but not having the bank makes things inconvenient. It's not just a case of popping down the road, you now have to get in the car."