RESIDENTS are being advised to use the post office after the closure of a town’s main banking branch.

The Lloyds bank branch, in Halstead, finally closed its doors on Tuesday after it was announced the bank was closing a number of branches.

The Halstead bank is one of 44 branches across England and Wales which are shutting down in a cull of face-to-face services.

The main reason behind the closures is a shift towards online banking after banks have seen their number of in-person transactions fall.

It comes as the Barclays branch in Witham also announced it will be closing its doors next year.

The move means there is only one bank remaining in Halstead – the Saffron Building Society.

The building society has reassured customers it will remain open, but many banking customers in Halstead will be forced to look further afield for banking in branch.

However, the National Federation of SubPostmasters is reminding residents they can still carry out day-to-day transactions at the area’s post offices.

A number of post offices can be found in the town, with one located on the High Street.

There are also branches on Abels Road and at the Greenstead Farm Shop in Greenstead Green.

A spokesman for the group said: “This will doubtless be disappointing to Lloyds customers in Halstead.

“However, alternative banking provision is available to local residents at post office branches nearby.

“Each of these branches offers banking services, including deposits, free cash withdrawals and balance checks, as well as offering face-to-face access to government services, bill payment, foreign currency, travel insurance and postal services.

“Post offices are proving vital to retaining people’s and business’s access to cash as the banks continue to desert the high street in order to cut costs and increase their profits.

“Every post office plays a vital role within the heart of the local community. Post offices provide a reliable and essential service which has continued at a high standard across the whole of the UK throughout the pandemic.”

A review on the closure of the Halstead branch by Lloyds claimed the branch was used by 385 customers a month. It said the branch saw personal transactions drop by 52 per cent since 2016 and business transactions dropping 60 per cent.