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Lloyds Banking Group to close branches in New Romney, Tonbridge and Bromley

One of the UK's largest banking groups has announced it will be closing 66 stores, including three in Kent, as footfall has continued to decline.

Lloyds Banking group will close 48 Lloyds Bank branches and 18 Halifax branches between October and January as more customers switch to using online banking services.

Lloyds bank in New Romney will close in November. Picture: Google Street View
Lloyds bank in New Romney will close in November. Picture: Google Street View

The branch in New Romney will be the first of three in Kent to close on November 7.

It will be followed by the store in Tonbridge on November 29, and the branch in West Wickham in Bromley on December 5.

The latest closures will be on top of 28 others the lending giant announced two months ago that it will be closing between August and November.

However, the firm has said there will be no compulsory or voluntary redundancies as staff will be given the chance to move to a different branch, or to other parts of the business.

It comes as visits to the high street stores due to shut have fallen by 60% in the last five years on average and by 85% in some locations, Lloyds said.

The branch in West Wickham. Picture: Google Street View
The branch in West Wickham. Picture: Google Street View

Once all the closures are complete, there will be 646 Lloyds Bank, 510 Halifax and 165 Bank of Scotland branches remaining.

But bosses insist well-used branches will continue to be invested in.

Russell Galley, director of consumer relationships at Lloyds Banking Group said: “Our customers have more choice than ever in how they bank with us.

“As our customers do more online, visits to some branches have fallen by as much as 85% over the last five years.

“Alongside our digital, online and telephone services, we’ll continue to invest in our branches, but they need to be in the right places, where they’re well-used.”

The bank came under fire from trade union Unite in May which said closures are abandoning communities who need access to banking, and putting jobs at risk.

Unite said over 5,000 bank and building society branches have closed since 2015.

But Lloyds said it now has 19.1 million online banking customers and 15.6 million mobile app users as consumers increasingly turn to digital services.

It also confirmed that all of the branches due to close have at least one free to use ATM within half a mile and a Post Office within 1.1 miles.

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