SIX branches of Natwest bank in Dorset and the New Forest have closed this month.

The latest, Winton, shut its doors to customers on October 12, with Westbourne closing on October 10.

Boscombe, New Milton, Canford Cliffs and Ferndown have also closed in October, with customers advised to go to another branch.

The closures were announced earlier this year.

NatWest has said the reason behind the closures was a response to changes in the way customers were banking.

They say since 2011 the number of transactions at the Boscombe branch has declined by 30 per cent, Canford Cliffs by 40 per cent, New Milton by 29 per cent, Westbourne by 32 per cent and Winton by 42 per cent - according to figures from the bank.

The closure notices prompted dozens of complaints from customers, with as many as 38 people writing to the bank in New Milton to express concerns.

The issues raised by members of the public centred on being able to use online banking, with many questioning why New Milton was being closed when it was usually busy.

Some customers at Canford Cliffs were worried about what was going to happen to the staff at the branch following the closure.

And others were concerned about their accounts being transferred to a different branch without their input.

Many people felt online banking was not a viable option for them.

All the relevant MPs were written to about the closure of the branches, as well as charities including Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK and Citizens Advice.

Natwest branches are still open in Christchurch, Southbourne, Lymington, Bournemouth town centre, Castlepoint, Upper Parkstone and Poole High Street.

A spokesperson for Age UK Bournemouth said if any residents have concerns about online banking or access to banking services, they can get in touch for advice.

“With so many stories about cyber scams and people being tricked online, we know some people will be concerned.”

You can call them on 01202 530 530.