FOUR Nationwide building society branches in Dorset are open for the final time today.

The sites in Boscombe, Canford Cliffs, Highcliffe and West Moors will close at the end of the working day.

The loss of the Canford Cliffs branch follows the closures of Lloyds, Barclays and NatWest within months of each other.

While Nationwide is carrying out closures, the building society says it is investing £7million in improving other branches.

Recent refurbishments have taken place at sites including Poole, Bournemouth, Broadstone and Christchurch.

Speaking at the time when the closures were announced, Mandy Beech, member experience director, said: “This is a really difficult decision and not one we’ve taken lightly.

“Whilst this is a really difficult decision for us to make, we want to make sure we’re investing in services we can provide in other locations.

“We’re trying to really open them up to make sure we can have great conversations side by side with members as opposed to traditional behind the glass conversations.”

Nationwide had made a “branch promise” which said it would keep a high street presence until at least May 31 2021 in every town and city where it had a branch in March 2019.

However, the details in the pledge state: “As we look to create better branches for our members, it may make sense to close or merge some older branches in a few areas. These will make way for newer, more accessible branches.”

As reported earlier this week, two Bournemouth banks are also going to close.

The Southbourne Grove branch of Lloyds and the Boscombe branch of Halifax, which is in Christchurch Road, are among those which will close as Lloyds Banking Group announced plans to close 56 branches across the UK.