THE HSBC bank branch in Grange-over-Sands is being axed because of a fall in the number of customers using its over-the-counter services.

The banking giant revealed its Main Street premises would close on November 15.

However, staff who are based there - equivalent to two full-time posts - will be offered positions at other branches in the area.

Letters were being sent out this week to all the branch’s customers, advising them of the impending closure.

A spokesman for HSBC said closing branches was ‘a last resort’.

“Grange is one of five branches currently planned for closure because customers are using the branch network less than they used to,” he said. “We are seeing a shift to customers using phone, internet and mobile devices.

“However, HSBC has this year entered a relationship with the Post Office which will enable those customers in Grange who do not have access to internet and telephone banking to transact business at the local post office branch in Main Street, where they will also be able to pay in cheques.”

Grange Town Council chairman Tom Harvey said: "It’s extremely disappointing that HSBC don't wish to keep a high street presence in Grange. However, there are a significant number of other banks and building societies in the town and for the many residents who are perhaps less tech savvy and prefer to bank face to face with a real person instead of using the internet.

“They can be reassured that the banks and building societies have a legal obligation to make switching accounts a quick and easy process and I know that the staff in these companies are extremely capable and are able to do all the work needed to make that switching as easy as possible."

HSBC has closed more than 200 branches in the UK over the last three years, but only four so far in 2013. But it is not alone in slimming down its branch network.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which includes the NatWest brand, has closed 60 branches this year while Barclays has closed 16.

Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group, which includes the Bank of Scotland and Halifax, has promised not to close any branches before February 2015.