Dozens of residents turned out on Saturday morning to protest at Barclays Bank's plans to close in Leiston - the last rural branch between Ipswich and Lowestoft.

The banking giant has already closed its branches in Woodbridge, Framlingham, Halesworth, and Felixstowe over the last two years.

Julia Ewart, prospective parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Suffolk Coastal was joined by dozens of local residents outside Barclays Bank in Leiston to  call for a U-turn in the decision to close the town’s only bank.

She said: “Leiston Barclays Bank is the last garrison – the last remaining branch which currently serves a vast population of customers across the Suffolk Coastal area. We must fight to keep it open.

“Not everyone can, or wants, to use internet or telephone banking; and not everyone has the resources to make a long journey to a big city branch. Customers who use the Leiston branch will now need to travel to Ipswich or Lowestoft just to do their banking – it’s absurd.

“For too long, these closures have been allowed to fly under the radar unchallenged. The community here are tired of being steamrolled by institutions who take but don’t give, and we are making a stand and saying enough is enough.”

Barclays said there were only 64 people who did all their banking at the Leiston branch and in 2022 86% of the branch's customers did much of their banking online, by app, or by phone.

Their customers would still be able to access cash through post offices or from cash dispensers at the Co-op in Leiston or at Tesco in Saxmundham.

Customer Tim Baskett, 30, said: "I think it’s disgraceful they are closing the Leiston branch. There’s lots of loyal Barclays customers in Leiston and the surrounding areas and I’d like to see the branch stay open for us all.”

Bernice Stocks, added: "The closure is a step too far. They have closed all the branches in the area. The thing I value most about having a local branch is being able to speak to a real person and soon, I won’t be able to do that.

"As one customer, I don’t feel like I have a say in this, but I’ll be outside the bank on Saturday morning to ensure my protest against this closure is heard.”

The branch is due to close its doors for the last time on May 17.