Banking giant Barclays has come under fire after announcing the closure of a second Norfolk branch in as many weeks. 

The bank said its branch in Market Place, Dereham, would shut on February 15, following last week's announcement Barclays in Sheringham would close on February 21.

Dereham Times: George Freeman, MP for Mid-NorfolkGeorge Freeman, MP for Mid-Norfolk (Image: Richard Townshend Photography)

George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, took aim at the bank for abandoning the very county it was founded in.

Mr Freeman said: “This is another blow to the high street, and the town more generally. Dereham is a major service hub for many local businesses and surrounding villages for whom local banking and cash facilities are key.

“It’s a particular shame to see Barclays - a bank started here in Norfolk by great Norfolk Quaker families - now closing its High Street store."

Mr Freeman said the closure highlighted the need for a development plan for the town. 

He said: "We need a strong long-term local vision for the town centre, market, bus routes and high street with a strong voice for residents and businesses.”

Dereham Times: Barclays Bank has announced that it was set to leave Dereham, from its home at 34 Market Place, next FebruaryBarclays Bank has announced that it was set to leave Dereham, from its home at 34 Market Place, next February (Image: Archant)

Alison Webb, Breckland councillor for Dereham Neatherd ward, said: "I am very disappointed that the decision to close the Barclays Dereham bank has been made.

"I am concerned that the loss of this branch will be felt by many of our older generation who do not trust using electronic banking methods, scared of the high level of scams at the moment.

"Additionally they may visit the branch for face-to-face communication helping them not to feel so lonely.

"I am also concerned about the charities and businesses who pay cash into the branch.

"Barclays has already contacted me to suggest ideas to help mitigate this decision and will be putting forward, amongst other things, a pop-up branch, maybe in the library on a twice-a-week basis."

READ MORE - Barclays to close Sheringham High Street branch

Dereham Times: Alison Webb, Breckland councillor for Dereham Neatherd wardAlison Webb, Breckland councillor for Dereham Neatherd ward (Image: Alison Webb)

Barclays said the decision was made because of the rise in online banking, with 88pc of Market Place customers also using the firm's app, website and phone to conduct their personal banking instead of visiting in-store.