RESIDENTS, town councillors and Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan are battling to save Melksham’s last high street bank.

The high street banking giant Lloyds announced last week that its Melksham branch is set to close on February 15 after revealing it is being used by only 98 customers a month.

The closure will leave the town with just two building societies, Nationwide and the Coventry, plus the Melksham Post Office, where they can do over-the-counter banking.

Like HSBC, Barclays and NatWest before it, Lloyds blamed the closure on the decline in customer visits.

Miss Donelan has invited constituents to get in touch to help save the Lloyds branch from closure. She said: “I am in contact with Lloyds about this awful news for Melksham.

“I am really disappointed by the decision and will do whatever I can to get the group to reverse the decision. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you want to discuss.”

Melksham’s mayor, Cllr Jon Hubbard, has already written to Lloyds Bank’s chief executive urging the group to reconsider.

Cllr Hubbard said: “The loss of the last of our major banks from the High Street in Melksham is a major blow for our town.

“I have written to Lloyds Bank PLC asking them to reconsider their plans, but I think we need to accept the reality it is unlikely that we will see a reversal in their position.

“We need to look forward now and think about ways that we can support our residents and local businesses in managing the impact of this decision and ensure we keep a vibrant town centre that continues to deliver for our community.

“I do celebrate the recent investment made in our community by the Coventry Building Society who refurbished their premises, and the continued presence in the town of Nationwide Building Society, whose longstanding commitment to keeping their branch open is greatly appreciated.”

Cllr Hubbard, who is also chairman of Age Friendly Melksham, added: "We are really concerned about the impact this will have for elderly residents who don't have access to transport that can take them to other towns to visit a high street bank.

"Where residents are using the Post Office, there will be many pressures and very extensive waits in a queue and this can make it difficult for many people."

He added: "Additionally, we are concerned that the loss of banking knowledge and experience could leave the door open for people to exploit vulnerable residents with door step packages that are not in their best interest."

On Wednesday last week, Lloyds Bank announced it is to close 48 of its Lloyds and Halifax branches nationwide between January and April. The group shut 56 branches between March and April, and 44 are closing between September and November.

Lloyds is the last of the ‘big four’ high street banks to pull out of Melksham, following a slow decline in customers visiting the branch following the changes in how customers bank over the past decade.

HSBC closed its Melksham branch in March 2017, while NatWest closed its branch on the corner of High Street in May 2018 and Barclays Bank pulled out in November 2018.

All the banks said more people are choosing to do their banking online and by mobile phone, and that the number of transactions at the branches had declined.

To help save the Lloyds branch, email