The last bank in Bishop's Waltham is set to close in January next year, to the disappointment of residents.

The Lloyds bank, in The Square, will close its doors on January 24, with customers and businesses having to find alternative branches.

Many businesses still use cash and pay their earnings into the bank in person.

Claire Peach, who runs a cleaning business, said: “I use the bank regularly for my business. It's a real shame it's closing. It's difficult because I deal a lot in cash because people I clean for prefer to pay that way.”

Nearby sweet shop, Sweet Corner, also use the bank for paying in.

Owner Sophie Pritchard said: “Because we're a sweet shop, about a third of our takings is cash so I normally pay it in weekly to Lloyds so I will have to go further afield. Going to Hedge End to pay in will take an hour or so as there will be a queue. It's a shame for the elderly people.

“Lloyds have said people aren't using it, but whenever I go in there, people are queuing.”

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Bishop's Waltham resident Marleen Beal said: “I think they get too much at the top and they should keep these branches open, it's not fair on anybody, older people especially.

A Lloyds Bank spokesperson: “Our customers have more choice than ever in how to bank with us, and fewer customers have been visiting our Bishop's Waltham branch over recent years. The branch will be closing at the end of January but a new ATM has been recommended for the town.

“We see 78 per cent of customers already using other branches in the local area, such as Hedge End branch in Southampton.

“The nearby Post Office on High Street, offers personal and business customers everyday banking services, access to cash, paying in of cheques, and more.

“There are 11 free to use ATMs within four miles of the closing branch.

“We’re contacting customers to let them know about the alternate local banking services available.”

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