A BRANCH of a national bank will close its doors for the final time today.

Halifax in New Milton is set to close on April 23, ‘following an in-depth review’, the bank said.

The bank, in Station Road, had 133 regular monthly customers using the branch in the 12 months to July 2023, a closing branch review said.

There had been a reduction of 44 per cent in branch transactions and 39 per cent in cash machine transactions from 2018 to 2023, based on July of each year, the review added.

While the bank did have a number of regular customers, it said that 25 per cent of customers have also used other branches, 21 per cent have also used the Post Office and 72 per cent have used other branches, online banking or telephone banking.

The nearest alternative Halifax branches are in Bournemouth town centre on Old Christchurch Road and in Winton on Wimborne Road.

The review’s decision said: “The world is becoming more digital than ever before and more of our customers are doing their everyday banking online. With more customers banking digitally, we've seen a fall in branch visits. Because of this, we've decided to close this branch.”

The bank said it had contacted Sir Desmond Swayne MP, the Post Office area manager, Citizens Advice, the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Sub Postmasters to understand the impact of the closure.

It said regular customers were ‘disappointed’ at the closure.

The New Milton Town Council also enquired about plans for a Community Banker in the area, asking if they could be based in the library as a part of its Keep Warm Spaces scheme.

From May 1, the town’s Community Banker will be based in the town hall, every Wednesday from 9am until 2.30pm.

These provide banking services and account support for those without a local branch, and can help with payments and transfers, card and PIN services, managing accounts, online banking or the app and telephone banking.