Liphook's last remaining bank branch, Lloyds, will shut its doors for good later this year – leaving Haslemere and Liphook without a single bank between them.
The Lloyds branch in The Square will close permanently on September 21, having this week been included on a list of 53 Lloyds Banking Group branches confirmed to be shutting.
It follows the closure of the village's HSBC and Barclays branches.
And will also see the village centre stripped of its last remaining cash machine – echoing the situation in Haslemere town centre after the closure of its West Street post office in May.
Explaining the closure, Lloyds said the number of customer and business transactions at the Liphook branch have fallen 41 per cent since 2018 – with just ten people a day using the branch on average.
Likewise, cashpoint transactions by personal customers have also fallen 52 per cent at the branch since 2018 – with 82 per cent of customers also using other Lloyds branches, internet or phone banking.
Liphook councillor Bill Mouland said Lloyds closure was "a sign of the times with online banking becoming the norm" – but added it will have a "devastating impact on people who like to carry out transactions face to face with a human being; have no access to online banking and have no wish to do so; and consider getting to Petersfield too difficult".
Cllr Mouland also questioned how long it will be before Petersfield's branch also shuts for good, and said he believed the "greatest impact for most people will be the loss of the cashpoint".
Like Haslemere, some banking services are to be offered on an ad hoc basis for Liphook locals hit by the closure of the village’s last remaining bank branch.
But also like Haslemere’s promised ‘banking hub’, details of Lloyds' promised Liphook ‘community banker’ are thin on the ground.
Lloyds says its community banker – one of 15 proposed in areas to be stripped of branches this year – will rent an office space in a local venue, where they will be able to chat in private with customers.
They can, according to Lloyds, “guide you through the ways you can bank with us” and lend “support with account enquiries for both personal and business customers”.
There is no confirmation of where, when and how regular the community banker will visit – but Bramshott Parish Council has been reassured the service will be “set up shortly”.
It mirrors the situation in neighbouring Haslemere, where the town is waiting for more details on its promised ‘banking hub’ and replacement town centre cash machine after the closure of the West Street post office on May 31.
Delivered by Cash Access UK and operated by post office staff, the hub will offer a shared banking space where customers of any bank can withdraw and deposit cash, make bill payments and carry out regular banking transactions.
MP Jeremy Hunt also announced last month that a new cash machine would also be provided in the town centre.
It has not yet been confirmed specifically where or when these will be provided.
But a spokesman for ATM provider Link has confirmed a contract was awarded for a new cash machine in Haslemere last week – and it is now “beginning to explore potential locations”.
“We would expect the ATM to be delivered later this year,” the spokesman added.
“That process is now speaking to retailers to find a host and then to secure appropriate planning permission and broadband connection.”