Residents of a West Midlands village have failed to keep open their local bank branch - and instead have been told to use the post office.
The Birmingham Post revealed two months ago how villagers, many of them elderly, in Barnt Green, Worcestershire, were battling to retain the local Lloyds TSB branch.
The company claimed the number of customers did not justify keeping the High Street branch open, prompting campaigners to stage protests and collect a petition as part of their bid to keep it open.
However, villagers said the bank had now told them to use a nearby free ATM and a post office to carry out most of their transactions, and travel to branches in Rubery and Bromsgrove for personal banking.
In a letter to their local MP Julie Kirkbride (Con Bromsgrove), Graham Lindsay, managing director of Lloyds Bank Wales and West Country, said: "It is always regrettable when you have to close a branch - particularly when we have had a long standing presence. I appreciate that some residents would be saddened with our decision, however current levels of customer usage do not justify the cost of running the branch.
"I can assure you that current levels of customer usage are insufficient to sustain the long term future of this branch.
"Customers are increasingly making use of other more convenient ways of doing their banking with us and this impacts some but not all of our smaller less utilised branches. You may be interested to know that 72 per cent of all cash withdrawals are now made at ATMs.
"I am satisfied that there are sufficient alternatives in place for our customers in Barnt Green and that any inconvenience to customers will be kept to a minimum.
"There is a free ATM nearby and all of our personal customers can use the Post Office to undertake essential banking transactions.
"We also have branches nearby at Rubery and Bromsgrove."
The Barnt Green branch is one of 19 that Lloyds TSB is planning to close because it says it is no longer viable to keep them open.
Pensioner Michael Hastilow said 900 people had signed a petition against the Barnt Green closure and a number of the residents had written official complaints to Lloyds TSB.
"The bank is still threatened with closure at the end of the month and a lot of effort is being made to try to get them to change their mind but to our knowledge it is to no success," he said.
"Representations have been made through the proper channels and to the head office of Lloyds TSB. We had a petition which, in only a week, was signed by 900 people, which is really quite good."
Mr Hastilow said it was not the first time the branch had been threatened with closure.
He said: "We had this same sort of panic six and a half years ago and my wife Sheila and her friend Betty Ingram campaigned against it.
"In the end, to everybody's surprise, it was decided to be kept open.
"On that occasion they said they were delighted to keep it open for the forseeable future as they had reviewed customers' needs."