A TOWN’S last remaining bank is to close after banking giant TSB announced that it will shut its Wigton branch.

The High Street branch will close its doors for the final time in June next year.

Bosses at the bank have blamed the closure on changing banking habits but they said they did not take the decision lightly.

According to figures, customer usage has declined in Wigton, with 35 people regularly using other branches. This means there are lengthy periods of time when staff do not see customers.

A TSB spokesman said: “This decision was not taken lightly. However, over 70% of customers at our Wigton branch already use alternative TSB branches, or use online, mobile, telephone banking or their local Post Office to access their banking services.

“We’re in the process of writing to those customers impacted, and our TSB Partners are always on hand to work with our customers to support them ahead of the planned closure in June.”

On average, it costs TSB £30,000 a year to keep a branch open and in Wigton this is no longer viable.

The focus now is on ensuring customers, especially the elderly and those who are most vulnerable to branch closures receive the assistance they need to continue to access banking services.

Partners in branch will be on hand to discuss with customers all alternative ways to bank, including helping them to access digital services, or how to get to their nearest TSB branch or Post Office.

There is a Post Office in King Street where customers can bank.

Amanda Tomsett, sub-postmistress for Wigton Post Office, said: “We are pleased to be in a position to be helping the people of Wigton and we welcome any new customers from TSB.”

In July the Wigton TSB branch was forced to reduce its opening hours to a three day week.

Wigton has seen a number of banks shut over the past few years, with the HSBC, NatWest and most recently Barclays bank closing.

Mayor of Wigton, John Crouch is sad to see the bank close down.

He explained: “I’m gutted that they are leaving the town.

“It now means the town only has the one building society and limited opportunities to withdraw cash.

“We are just lucky that we have a local building society in the town.

“The closing of the branch also doesn’t help the high street retail and it’s difficult to fight against this.

“I actually have a shop in the town so I know how this can work against us and some people do still appreciate to shop locally.

“It’s the demise of the high street.”

From the end of July the branch was open on a Monday, Thursday and Friday.

Wigton now has the Post Office in King Street and Cumberland Building Society in High Street.

The Limes greengrocers is situated next door to TSB.

Paul Evans, owner of the greengrocers, said the closure is another blow for Wigton.

He said: “It’s another blow to the Wigton High Street which has been devastated by the loss of banks including, HSBC, Natwest, Barclays and now TSB as well as the relocation of the auction and charges to car parking.

“When the Natwest closed this year the fish shop and then the Kildare followed soon after due to the reduction in customers who came for the banks.

“The widespread use of internet banking is being used as an excuse to close the branches, but surely they should be more proactive and move the branches forward with current technology and trends to promote the high street, and service the older generation and all those unfamiliar with the use of internet banking who have supported the banks for all these years.

They insist on closing branches to maintain obscene bonuses and profit.”

“We will see more high street shops closing as the discount supermarkets come in, they sell everything putting smaller shops out of business and then increase their prices - which is already happening.

“The high street will probably become more of a social area where people can gather and meet.”