A BRANCH of Lloyd's bank in Bournemouth is to close as part of nationwide restructuring plans, putting local jobs at risk.

Lloyds Banking Group have said that 29 Lloyds Bank branches and 15 Halifax branches in England and Wales will close over the next 12 months.

The Westbourne branch, located on Poole Road, is one of the 44 bank branches due to close its doors, with a rise in online banking named as a major reason.

Vim Maru, retail director for Lloyds Banking Group, said: "Like many businesses on the high street, we must change for a future where branches will be used in a different way, and visited less often.”

He also said that customers were carrying out “significantly” fewer transactions at these locations, adding: “We’ve also seen our digital banking customers grow by over four million in five years, to almost 18 million, of which 13.6 million also choose to be active app users.”

Unite national officer Caren Evans said: “The decision by Lloyds to further erode its presence within our communities is baffling.

“The closure of 44 more bank branches will deny our communities essential services such as access to cash and experienced highly trained staff. A local ATM is not a suitable alternative to a staffed bank branch.”

Bournemouth’s other Lloyds branches in Winton, Kinson and on Old Christchurch Road have not yet been affected.