THE town council in Tetbury has written a strongly-worded letter to HSBC lampooning their decision to withdraw their branch from the town centre.

The bank in Long Street has opted to stop trading in Tetbury on December 4 as it says the numbers of people using its services is dwindling.

HSBC’s decision to leave the town will mean there will only be one cash point in the town centre.

Following the news, Tetbury Town Council sent a letter to the bank expressing their concerns.

“Tetbury Town Council is both dismayed and disappointed that HSBC have decided to close your branch in Tetbury from December of this year and wish to show our severe dissatisfaction with this closure,” the letter says.

“Whilst we appreciate that there are other facilities which your customers can use to carry out banking transactions we regard the removal of direct banking services as a retrograde step and yet another sign that rural communities are having important services withdrawn.

It continued: “We are sure that you must be unaware that it is planned that the number of houses in Tetbury is due to expand by at least 30 per cent in the next five years with the building of another 800 new homes. At least a quarter of these will be occupied by senior citizens who rely on local services and local banking is really important to these residents.

“The removal of your cash machine is particularly galling, this leaves only one more facility in the town centre which is relatively inaccessible to disabled people.”

HSBC chose not to comment on the letter but reaffirmed their previous statement, which said: “We never take the decision to close a branch lightly, and we understand it's unsettling for the local community.

“Unfortunately, use of the Tetbury branch has fallen significantly over the past few years, and we've taken the difficult decision to close it on December 4.

“We are working with customers who use the branch to help them understand their options, which include being able to use the Tetbury post office to check their balance and withdraw and pay in cash and cheques to their personal HSBC account. There are also a number of fee-free cash machines in the local area.”