THREE branches of Barclays Bank will remain open in the district for at least the next two years, the company has said.

Barclays says it has ring-fenced more than 100 branches located in remote or “last bank in town” areas so that they will remain until at least October 2021.

The three branches which have been protected for the time being are Settle, Barnoldswick and High Bentham.

The Grassington branch closed in May this year.

The bank is also launching a new cashback scheme enabling people to withdraw money at small businesses – but said that from 2020 its customers will no longer have a facility which allows them to withdraw cash over the counter at Post Offices.

The bank’s new cashback scheme should make it easier for customers to withdraw money at businesses in remote towns and areas without a branch or ATM within 1km.

Adam Rowse, managing director of branch-based banking at Barclay, said: “By maintaining last-in-town or remote branches over the next two years, and working with the community, we hope to increase demand and keep these branches viable.

“We also recognise that there are opportunities to support customers with access to cash where there is no branch or ATM nearby.

“We are launching a cashback offering working with merchants to give customers access to cash over the counter.”

Meanwhile, Barclays is trialling how it can work with customers and communities, including MPs, councillors and business groups, to see if customer demand can be increased, which would help to make branches more viable in the longer term. No details of potential high street closures have been announced yet.