ONE OF Britain’s biggest banks has sparked anger by announcing plans to axe another of its Hampshire branches.

Barclays is shutting its Hythe branch on March 2 in a move that will force customers to travel to Totton, Southampton or Lymington if they want to speak to staff face-to-face.

It follows a spate of bank closures in other towns and villages across the county.

As reported in the Daily Echo, protesters took to the streets in 2015 to voice their anger at the decision to close the Hamble branch of Barclays.

Critics have also been quick to condemn the decision to axe the Hythe service, which is being blamed on the rise in online banking.

Parish councillor Mark Clark said: “How we are supposed to maintain a vibrant village economy without proper banking facilities is beyond me.

“It doesn’t help to attract people into the village and it doesn’t give retailers confidence.

“There is a lot of online banking but branch closures tend to affect an entire generation. Not everyone sits at a computer screen all day.”

Fellow councillor Chris Harrison added: “Everyone is disappointed - we have already lost one bank in the village.”

A Barclays spokesman said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices. At the Hythe branch customer usage has declined by 18 per cent.”

Barclays say staff will transfer to other branches in the area.