THE Radcliffe branch of Halifax is set to close later this year.

The bank - part of the Lloyds Banking Group - has announced that the branch in Blackburn Street will close on May 28 due to a drop in footfall.

The branch's cash machine will also be removed.

It will leave TSB as the town's only bank, with the closest Halifax branches now in Prestwich and Bury.

In a statement, Halifax said: “We have made the difficult decision to close the Halifax Radcliffe branch on May 28 due to the changing ways customers choose to bank with us, which has resulted in the branch being used less often.

"We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause; customers can continue to access their banking locally by visiting the nearby post office, which is less than half a mile from the branch."

In a 'Closing Branch Review' posted on their website, Halifax said counter transactions at the branch had fallen by five per cent in the past year.

However, cash machine and self service zone transactions have increased three and seven per cent respectively.

According to Halifax, 18 customers use the branch on a regular weekly basis, while 510 use it on a monthly basis.

Reacting to the news of the closure on Facebook, Beverley Powell said: "Complete joke! So unfair to all the people who are trying their best to run a business in Radcliffe. How on earth do they expect the place to get any better?"

Sharron Blower added: "It’s not fair it’s like they trying to get rid of Radcliffe and leave it with what?"

Bury Council leader and Radcliffe West councillor Rishi Shori said he was "disappointed" about the closure.

He added: "Losing another bank in the centre will create inconvenience to its customers and stop people coming into the centre.

"As a council, we will do our best to try to support Halifax remaining within the centre."

Cllr Shori promised to write to Halifax asking them to reconsider their decision and provide evidence to justify it.

However, he added that the proposed closure would not impact the regeneration plans for Radcliffe town centre.

Cllr Shori explained: "The whole point of the regeneration is to attract broader investment and bringing in new types of businesses to mitigate the changing nature of retail and services."

"Obviously the loss of another bank is not helpful, but in all small towns banks are closing to save money as more people bank online."