CONCERNS have been raised after Santander announced the closure of its Romsey branch.

The bank in the Market Place will shut on July 18.

The news comes after the banking giant announced the closure of 140 branches across the country, including those in Chandler’s Ford and Lymington.

The move has put 1,270 jobs at risk.

The firm said the decision was made in response to changes in the way customers do their banking.

The number of transactions carried out via Santander branches has fallen by 23% over the past three years, while digital transactions have grown by 99% over the same period, according to the firm.

Figures released by Santander showed that 54% of Romsey customers have been using online, mobile or telephone banking services for their transactions.

Santander said it would support customers of closing branches to find other ways to bank that best suit their needs.

But town bosses in Romsey said the figures show there are still residents who prefer to visit a branch, and their needs should be satisfied.

Cllr David Drew, economic development portfolio holder at Test Valley Borough Council, said: “It is disappointing that their stats show there are people who would want to use the service. I would urge they look at all means by which they can continue to provide the services in the town.”

Romsey MP Caroline Nokes said she has written to Santander to raise her concerns.

“I am very disappointed to hear Santander will be the latest financial institution to close a branch in Romsey, with the closest branch for my constituents being in Southampton. I am deeply concerned about the effect this will have on digitally excluded customers, who may not have access to online banking,” she said.

Santander said it would retain a nationwide network of 614 branches and people will have the possibility to access post office banking services. Peter Speirs of Romsey Chamber of Commerce said he was not surprised, but he added: “I struggle to understand why the demographics of the area aren’t taking into consideration. I know that not everyone has a smart phone or even a computer to access internet banking.”

Around a third of the employees affected are expected to be redeployed. Susan Allen, the firm’s head of retail and business banking, said: “We continue to believe that branches have a vital role to play and we will be refurbishing 100 of our branches over the next two years. We are confident that following these changes we will have the right branch network to serve our customers’ changing needs, and we expect the size of our network to remain stable.”