Lloyd’s has announced the closure of 53 more of its branches, including the branch in Kingsbridge, which will close on October 11th.

Kingsbridge Town Council, who will be holding a meeting on the closure of the bank next week, released a statement in regards to the closure.

A spokesperson for the council said: “We were really disappointed to hear the news that Lloyds Bank will close its Kingsbridge branch.”

Lloyd’s have blamed their decision on customers turning to digital banking and reduced footfall.

The council said: “The information supplied to evidence the closure highlighted that 23 per cent of the Kingsbridge branch customers were aged 75+ and 84 per cent of branch business was personal customers so to Kingsbridge Town Council it still appears to be an essential service for a cohort of local residents.”

They added: “Following the related recent closures of NatWest, Santander and Barclays this will leave HSBC as the only bank in town.”

The closure of these banks poses concerns for the elderly members of the community, who are more reliant on face-to-face communications regarding banking and finances, and are also more susceptible to scams.

Lloyd’s have offered some reassurances of steps they will take to minimise the impact of the closure on the community, and have detailed the reasonings for the closures that are occuring nationwide, but the news has been greeted with disappointment by many Kingsbridge residents. 

A spokesperson for Lloyds Bank said: “As many customers now choose to bank online or through their mobile app, visits to our Kingsbridge branch have fallen over recent years.  

“The local Post Office offers everyday banking, with cash also available at close by free-to-use ATMs, alongside other ways to bank such as online, phone and mobile banking services.”

The reasoning for the closure of the bank has been put down to the movement away from in-person banking, as well as the fall in use of the Kingsbridge branch, with Lloyds explaining that “78% of (their) personal customers already use other ways of banking, such as over the phone or internet banking, as well as other branches.”

They stated that “Branch transactions at the Kingsbridge branch fell more than 58% between 2017 and 2022.”

As an alternative for people who wish to take part in in-person banking, they suggested using the Post Office at McColl’s on Fore Street, which offers some banking services, such as access to cash and the paying in of cheques.

They explained that in the run up to the branch closure, branch staff will be on-hand to offer support and guidance on the ways customers can bank with Lloyds. After the branch closes the bank will have a community banker visit the area, who will continue to offer face to face support.

Anthony Mangnall, MP for Totnes, said of the closure on social media: “I have just been informed that the Lloyds Bank branch in Kingsbridge will be closing in October. 

“A community banker will be available during set hours in a local space, such as a library, where they will spend time with customers and help with banking enquiries. More information will be shared with customers in due course. 

“The decision to close the branch was made after an analysis of how customers bank with Lloyds, how often customers use the branch, and a review of local infrastructure.

“This is disappointing news but I will continue my work to ensure the local community has access to vital banking services.”

Many residents in and around Kingsbridge feel frustrated about the closure of the bank, turning to social media to express their disappointment. One local person wrote: “I think it’s disgusting we are in an area with small independent businesses and the elderly and both are at the mercy of the banks. We are being forced into a cashless society!”

Lots of people are concerned of the impact on elderly people, who may struggle with online banking. 

Mr Mangnall added: “I am hopeful that the community banker will provide the regular service that people require.”