A TOTAL of 28 banks are to close in a move which a union has described as “inexcusable.”

Unite said a decision by Lloyds Banking Group to close further branches threatened scores of job losses.

The group said it will be closing 20 Lloyds Bank and eight Halifax branches between August and November this year – including the Halifax branch in Lewes.

Unite national officer Caren Evans said the branch closures announcement are “another profit making financial institution is failing to consider the needs of consumers and staff”, and described the decision as “beggars’ belief”.

“This news is another example of a bank choosing to walk away from the communities who need access to banking,” she said.

“The actions of Lloyds Banking Group over the last few months are completely inexcusable. The management is letting down customers and their dedicated workforce.

“These closures will leave some customers more than ten miles from their nearest bank branch.

“This is a betrayal of some of the most vulnerable, elderly and socially excluded in our communities who need local access to community banking.”

Unite said more than 5,000 bank and building society branches have closed since 2015.

Announcing the closures, Lloyds Banking Group said online and mobile banking continues to grow, as branch usage falls.

“On average, visits to these 28 branches have dropped by 60 per cent since 2016, while we now have 18.6 million regular online banking customers and over 15 million mobile app users.

“It is important that we therefore continue to look at where our branches are best placed.

“Each of these locations has a free to use ATM, and a Post Office, within one mile.

“As with all proposed closures, these plans have been through LINK’s independent cash-access assessment, with no enhancements required.

“We aim to support all colleagues impacted, who want to remain with the Group, a move to a new role.”

Halifax branches closing are in Lewes, Coalville, Falmouth, Hoddesdon High Street, Manchester Trafford, Lewes, Walton Vale, Dover and Dorchester.

Lloyds branches set to close are Norwich Heartsease, Thatcham, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Bilborough Nottingham, Broadstone, Letchworth, Nottingham Hyson Green, Oadby, Plympton, Verwood, Ilfracombe, Whickham, Atherstone, Hadleigh, Swanage, Ystrad Mynach, Bourne, Heald Green, Banstead and Williton.

Vim Maru, group retail director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Branch visits have been falling significantly for several years now, and this trend is continuing.

“Our network is important, but we need to make decisions to ensure we have the right branches in the right places, as we respond to customers doing the vast majority of their banking online.”