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Community 'outraged' as last physical bank branch is to close as Lloyds closes its doors in New Romney

Romney Marsh is to be left without a single bank after Lloyds Bank decided to shut its New Romney branch.

People who bank in person with Lloyds now face the prospect of lengthy journeys to the nearest branches in Folkestone and Ashford should they not wish to manage their money online after it closes on November 7.

Lloyds Bank is to close its branch in New Romney in November. Picture: Google Street View
Lloyds Bank is to close its branch in New Romney in November. Picture: Google Street View

The bank says the decision to close the High Street branch has been taken after a review which found in-person transactions have fallen by around two-thirds in the space of five years.

But ward councillor David Wimble, who is also Folkestone and Hythe District Council's cabinet member for the economy, has blasted the bank for not carrying out a proper consultation with people living on the Marsh.

"The town is outraged that there wasn't any consultation at all other than the nationwide consultation," he said.

"Being the only bank in the High Street, and not just New Romney but for the whole Marsh, it's outrageous that some people who don't have internet banking will now have to go to Folkestone or Ashford.

"The fact that they can use the Post Office doesn't help a lot of them because sometimes they want to draw out more than £300, which is the limit at the Post Office.

"Many customers now choose to bank in different ways..."

"More importantly, for businesses it's going to really hit them because they won't be able to bank their money. The Post Office will charge them for taking their money."

Cllr Wimble says he is now having conversations with local figures regarding the potential of setting up a form of co-operative bank to meet the needs of the community.

Lloyds has confirmed no jobs will be lost as a result of the branch closure, with employees moved either to a role at another branch or in another part of the business.

In the run up to the closure, staff will offer support and guidance on the ways customers can still bank with Lloyds after the branch is shut.

For a short period of time after the branch closes the firm also plans to have what they describe as a "community banker" visit the town to continue to offer this support to customers.

New Romney councillor David Wimble
New Romney councillor David Wimble

A Lloyds Bank spokesman said: "Visits to our New Romney branch have fallen over recent years, as many customers now choose to bank in different ways.

"When the branch closes in November, customers can continue to bank with us at the Post Office on the High Street and can access cash at a number of free ATMs nearby."

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