ANOTHER bank is closing its doors in Witham as more and more customers choose to do their business online.

Lloyds Bank, in Newland Street, Witham, will close permanently on January 11 next year.

Outlining its decision to close the branch, Lloyds told customers: “The world is becoming more digital than ever before and more of our customers are doing their everyday banking online.

“With more customers choosing to use digital ways to bank and manage their money, visits at this branch have fallen. As a result, we've made the difficult decision to close it.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Branch - Lloyds Bank, in Newland Street, WithamBranch - Lloyds Bank, in Newland Street, Witham (Image: Google)

It said 42 per cent fewer transactions are completed in the branch today compared to five years ago, with eight out of ten customers in Witham also banking online, over the phone, or in other branches,

Only 232 customers, meanwhile, regularly used the branch in the 12 months to March.

Customers will need to travel to Braintree or Chelmsford to service their Lloyds accounts.

Witham MP Dame Priti Patel has raised concerns to the bank following the announcement.

Braintree and Witham Times: MP - Priti PatelMP - Priti Patel (Image: PA)

She said: “Banks are meant to provide access to vital financial services for families and businesses in Witham and while many customers are now making use of online facilities and banking apps, there are still people who are dependent on in-branch services and meeting bank staff face-to-face.

“This further branch closure is a concern to those who rely on in-branch access to banking services in Witham and I have made representations to Lloyds about this matter.

“All banks should recognise the duty they have to local communities, especially as many retail banks such as Lloyds were bailed out by taxpayers, during the financial crisis.”

The closure spells the end of the presence of any of the Big Four in the town.

Braintree and Witham Times: Banks - Lloyds is joining Barclays and NatWest in closing its Witham branchBanks - Lloyds is joining Barclays and NatWest in closing its Witham branch (Image: PA)

NatWest closed its Witham branch in 2018 which was followed by the closure of the town’s Barclays branch closed in January last year.

The former HSBC branch in Newland Street is now home to the popular Valero Lounge restaurant.

Halifax, which is also owned by Lloyds Banking Group, and Nationwide will be the only bank and building society left in the town.

County councillor for Witham Northern Ross Playle has called for more “banking hubs” to be opened, as is the case elsewhere in the county.

“It is a great shame that Lloyds Bank in Witham has announced it is to close,” said Mr Playle.

Braintree and Witham Times: Councillor - Ross PlayleCouncillor - Ross Playle (Image: Ross Playle)

He added: “Sadly, this is a trend we are seeing on high streets across the country and something we have already experienced locally.

“It is vital that residents have access to banking services and can continue to receive face-to-face financial advice.

In Rochford, a banking hub was launched, allowing different banking providers to pool services under one roof.

"This would be an innovative solution to the current issue whilst appreciating that our high streets have never stood still but continue to adapt.

“Later this summer, Braintree Council is to deliver improvements to Newland Street, including a new events space.

“Colleagues and I welcome this new investment but have been clear that it must be the start, rather than an end point, of upgrades into Witham town centre.”