TOWN councillors are seeking alternative proposals for banking in Ross-on-Wye following notification that Lloyds will close at the end of the year.

At Ross Town Council’s last meeting, members heard that only building societies Santander and Nationwide will remain, while the NatWest Bank on wheels still arrives in town once a fortnight.

Cllr John Winder said: “The closure of Lloyds means that many businesses will have difficulty in banking their cash in future. It’s this facility will hit the commercial sector the hardest.

“We need to make sure that Lloyds maintains its proposal to operate a mobile banking facility in the town for all customers.”

Cllr Winder also suggested that the town should research the possibility of having a banking hub, run by the Post Office, where customers can access banking services from the likes of Lloyds, NatWest, HSBC, and Barclays.

“We must establish if there is an appetite for a banking hub such as this in Ross. If there is we would then invite Link, the UK’s Cash Access and ATM network, to carry out a feasibility study and engage with the local community.”

The members were told that banking hubs are shared spaces, like a traditional bank branch, but available to everyone.

Cllr Ed O’Driscoll said he thought this was unlikely because Santander were still operating in the town and added: “I understand there is no funding available for this banking hub as one of the major building societies is still operating in Ross.”

Lloyds stated when the proposed closure was announced: "Most customers are now using our mobile app, internet banking or calling us, which means they are using branches, including the Ross-on-Wye branch, much less.”

Mayor of Ross, Cllr Louis Stark said: “Our community has many elderly residents who prefer to use face-to-face services. However, we recognise that they can use the Post Office, as an alternative, but the closure will limit the options available to them.

“The closure of Lloyds will lead to the loss of another ATM cash point in the town."

Lloyds’ announcement of its closure in December this year follows on from HSBC’s exit from the town in June 2023 and Barclays in August 2021.