FIVE branches of Santander across Dorset and the New Forest are set to close.

The banking giant said it plans to shut 140 branches, putting 1,270 jobs at risk.

Branches in Boscombe, Broadstone, Parkstone and Dorchester are proposed for closure along with the Lymington premises.

The Broadstone will be the first to close on May 9, followed by Boscombe on June 13, Dorchester on June 27 and Parkstone on July 18.

Lymington will shut on July 25.

It said the closures are being made in “response to changes in the way customers are choosing to carry out their banking”.

Susan Allen, head of retail and business banking at Santander, said: “The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels. As a result, we have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less visited branches, and those where we have other branches in close proximity.

“We will support customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs. We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles for those impacted wherever possible.”

Santander said it believes branches still have a vital role to play and it will be refurbishing 100 of its branches over the next two years.

The bank said its future branch network will be made up of a combination of larger branches offering “improved community facilities to support local businesses and customers”.

While smaller branches will use the latest technology to offer customers “more convenient access to banking services.”