THE last-standing bank branch in Swanage has closed its doors after 126 years of service.
Lloyds Bank in Swanage was closed for good on Friday, September 16, seeing the coastal town stripped of all brank branches.
It follows reduced demand for the branch, and a fall in branch transactions of over 60 per cent between 2017 and 2022.
Lloyds Bank also said that more than 70 per cent of their Swanage branch customers were already using other ways of banking, such as over the phone or internet banking.
Their spokesperson said: “Visits to our Swanage branch have fallen over recent years, as many customers now choose to bank in different ways.
“We closed the branch on September 16, but customers can continue to bank with us at the Post Office and can access cash at a number of free ATMs nearby.”
The closure of the branch follows that of Barclays and NatWest, and means that the Post Office and the Nationwide Building Society are the only two places left in the town available for face-to-face financial transactions.
Cllr Caroline Finch said: “I’m extremely concerned about the cash facilities, and not having face-to-face banking.
“It’s an area where there are a lot of older people, and they tend to like face-to-face contact.
“It’s on the agenda for the council this month to find out what we can do to improve the situation.”
Cllr Tina Foster added that the Swanage Town Council were “disappointed” at the closure and are “actively seeking solutions.”
A number of other UK locations left without banks have been earmarked for new face-to-face banking hubs, where people can access their account, deposit cash and withdraw money.
Although this hasn’t yet been proposed for Swanage, the town is among a list of 12 communities to pilot alternative ‘new cash services’.
It will see withdrawal and deposit placed in libraries and community centres and made available during their opening hours, but it is not yet clear when this will be implemented.