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Lloyds Bank are set to close their Freshwater branch in January, it has been confirmed.

The closure has been blamed on the changing ways in which customers choose to do their banking, which has resulted in the branch being used less often.

Currently the bank is open just 3 days a week but from January 2019 the doors will be closed for good. Those living and working in the West Wight will be provided with a mobile banking service instead.

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A spokesperson for Lloyds Bank has said:

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will be speaking to customers about the new mobile branch service, which will be on the road before the branch closes, as well as their nearest alternative branch, which is in Newport.

“The new mobile branch service will provide a vital service to the Freshwater area, by giving customers access to everyday banking services such as making deposits, withdrawing cash and paying bills.

“Customers can also continue to access their banking locally by visiting the nearby Post Office, which is a short distance from the branch.”

Service hours of the mobile banking service will depend on anticipated local demand.

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Responding to the announcement that Lloyds’ pre-tax profits hit £3.1 billion in the first half of 2018, amid plans to close more than 80 bank branches, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry has said:

“The rapid pace of bank branch closures is hurting high streets all over the country. Thousands of small businesses regularly use branches to deposit and withdraw cash, access advice around new finance and receive in-person support when online banking services crash. We’ve lost more than 1,500 branches in the past two years alone – a figure that’s set to rise to 2,000 by the end of this year. On top of that, we’ve lost 1,500 cash points since LINK announced cuts to cash machine funding a few months ago.

“This squeeze on banking services and free access to cash means less footfall on struggling high streets and less cashflow in local economies. The result of which is, inevitably, slower growth.

“More than 90 per cent of our members use online banking. There are plenty of occasions, though, when those online services need to be complemented by in-person advice and support. We need to remember that over a third of adults, often vulnerable consumers, do not use online banking. A key issue is that banks are under no obligation to publicly consult on branch closures before final decisions are made or invest to improve replacement Post Office services as they leave town. The Access to Banking Standard must be strengthened.

“We urge all small firms who secured a business loan prior to 2010 to consult the Financial Conduct Authority’s guidance on Payment Protection Insurance before the deadline next year. Too many small firms were mis-sold PPI policies. It’s vital that all those affected receive compensation.”

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