Esher and Walton MP and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab visited the Barclays branch last week as it bids to stay open as the town's one remaining bank.

Barclays said they were launching a new "initiative" at the branch that will explore the ways residents and businesses in Esher use the bank.

A spokesperson described the project as a way "to test whether by working in direct partnership, local branch banking can be sustainable over the long term".

Barclays said it has installed a video banking facility at the branch which provides customers with greater access to Barclays specialists for more complex enquiries.

Specialists known as "Barclays Digital Eagles" will offer in-branch activities "such as helping to raise awareness of the skills to stay safe in a digital age, alongside colleague-led seminars to assist with ongoing financial management planning" a spokesperson said.

Barclays has promised to keep 105 last-in-town and remote branches like the Esher branch open until October 2021, without an apparent commitment beyond that date.

In Esher for the launch of the initiative, Raab sounded a positive note.

"Local bank branches can play a central role in our local communities, so it’s important for residents in Esher that this – the last branch in the town – stays open," the Foreign Secretary said.

"I was heartened to see the commitment that Barclays has made, and the imaginative ways that they’re trying to increase footfall into the branch," he addded.

Jon Clowes, Local Director for Barclays, described his belief that there was a "real appetite" among residents and businesses for the branch to stay open:

"In Esher, we believe there is real appetite amongst businesses and the local community to support us in keeping the branch open, whilst acknowledging that many customers are choosing alternative ways to undertake their banking such as mobile, online and telephony services," he said.

He also appealed to residents directly for their help in keeping the branch open.

"In order to keep the Esher branch open, we’re asking the community to get behind us and speak to us for more information," Clowes said.

"We also understand not everyone wants to manage their finances digitally, that’s why we’ll have specialists in these branches to support people with more complex financial needs such as buying a home, saving for university and planning for retirement.

"Our ambition is to have an innovative and sustainable suite of branches that exist alongside multi-channel banking options."