THE Natwest bank branch in Martock will close on August 8.

Sarah Binnie, from the Royal Bank of Scotland press office, today (May 14) announced that a drop in the number of customers had forced the decision.

She said: "The number of customers using this branch has dropped by nearly 15% over the last few years as more and more of them use alternative ways of banking with us. This includes by telephone, in Post Offices, by app and online. The branch is open 20.5 hours a week and only 42 customers regularly use the branch, each week.

Over our whole branch network there has been a 30% drop in branch transactions since 2010 as people do their banking when and where it is convenient for them."

She said 80% of their customers are within a three-mile radius of a branch.

An arrangement has been made with the local Post Office, which is near the branch, that allows customers to withdraw cash, check balances and pay bills free of charge.

Customers who have basic bank accounts with the Martock branch will have their restrictions lifted and will be able to use ATMs from other banks in the area.

The spokesman added: "We’ve advised staff and we’re writing to our customers to make them aware of the closure and the different ways they can still bank with us. If customers are concerned about how this will impact their banking, they can go into the branch where staff will be happy to discuss the alternative options available."