NATWEST is to close its branch in Hadleigh after 92 years.

The branch, in London Road, will shut next month.

The company said it had suffered a 10 per cent drop in customers using the branch in recent years, as more people go online or bank over the phone.

The nearest branch is now twomiles away in the Broadway, Leigh, although residents can pay bills, withdraw cash and pay balances at the Post Office in Hadleigh.

It is hoped the four staff at the Hadleigh branch will be relocated.

A NatWest spokeswoman said: “More and more customers are using alternative ways to bank with us, such as online and telephone banking, or using their mobile phone.

“As a result, we’ve seen the number of people using the branch fall significantly over the last few years.

“We have made the difficult decision to close the Hadleigh branch on 26 February.

“We have advised staff and we’re writing to customers to make them aware of the different ways they can bank with us.’’ But customers are not happy with the closure.

Lisa Johnson said: “Online banking is great, but what if you want to pay a cheque in? Or draw out a large sum? Or speak to a human?”

Jo Russell said: “The one in Westcliff is already gone, plus two by my work in London.

Sounds like they are on their way out. Might find a new bank!”

In the last few years, Nationwide and Halifax have closed their branches in Hadleigh.

However, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and Santander still have a presence in the high street.

Conservative councillor Norman Ladzrie, who represents St James’ ward, said: “It is sad to see the branch go.

Unfortunately, it is a sign of the times.

“We are going through a retail revolution where more and more people are using the internet.

“But if you have a cheque or cash to pay in, you still need somewhere to go.

“The site is in a very prominent position in the town, so hopefully it will be filled quickly.”

The bank, then called London County Westminister & Parr’s bank, opened on April 24 1922 next to the old public hall in the Broadway, now London Road.

The branch moved to its current premises on November 2 1934.

It began to trade as National Westminster in 1970, when Westminster Bank and National Provincial Bank merged.