CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight to save Churchdown’s HSBC bank, after it emerged the branch is due to close on June 20.
The St John’s Avenue branch first opened in 1962, but its doors will shut this summer as more customers switch to internet banking.
The last day of business at the branch is expected to be on June 20.
Pearl Stokes, Churchdown Parish Council leader, said: “I have lived in Churchdown since 1966 and it is the only bank I have used. If the bank goes, the heart of Churchdown will be taken away the question will be asked who goes next.
“We have a lot of people of all generations do not drive and they are now being asked to catch buses to either Gloucester or Cheltenham.
“I personally use it all the time I am not interested in internet banking and have never used a cash point I and many others use the Bank regularly I pay my accounts by visiting this bank also if I wish to send money to our son and his family in Australia.
“The bank is always busy and used by local people of all ages. When I go in there you see businesses banking their cash too.
“Soldiers from the barracks also use it regularly. I have been asked if there is going to be a petition this is something the parish is looking at. I will be joining others to keep it open.”
Loyal customer George Ridgeon has been banking with HSBC, formerly Midland Bank for half a century.
“I joined Midland Bank 50 years ago in 1964 when I started motorcycle racing,” he said.
“At the time, I had to buy £2 10 shillings of postal orders so I was disappointed to hear the closure of the Churchdown branch.
“If I read the information correctly even the cash machine will be closed.
“I admit I do not use it a great deal, mainly for when I need cash. I either send my carer down so he can draw some money out of the cash machine and I then transfer him some.
“This closure will regrettably mean having to change my routine, so the bank may lose out as I change the way I manage my money and pension.”
A spokesman for HSBC said changes to customer habits had led to the move, with internet and telephone banking offering a 24 hour service fit for the 21st century.
He said: “Our branches are a very important way for our customers to bank with us and we have spent over £100 million in recent years upgrading and improving them.
“However, we need to ensure that our branches are in the right locations for our customers and on occasions this means that we need to close a branch where customer footfall has fallen dramatically or there has been a shift in customer shopping patterns. Our branch in Churchdown is a case in point. Customer usage of this branch has fallen very significantly over the past few years.
“Customers habits are changing. Our network has to be 'fit for purpose' and we have to ensure that our branches are located in areas where they are used.
“Decisions like this are never easy, but we are working with the small number of customers who use the branch to help them reorganise their finances ahead of the planned closure.”
Members of staff who man the branch will transfer to other HSBC branches in the area.