TODAY'S announced closure of Llandeilo’s HSBC bank will be a significant blow to people in the Towy Valley, a local councillor fears.

County councillor Edward Thomas said news that the branch would close on June 13 signified HSBC’s “com - plete withdrawal” from the north Towy Valley following the axing of their Llandovery branch in 2012.

“This will leave pensioners and those without transport having to trek down to the nearest office in Ammanford,” he said.

“Extra expense will be added to business customers who are already struggling.”

Giving his own reaction, MP Jonathan Edwards said: “The news of closure will be bitterly disappointing for the custom - ers of HSBC in the north of Carmarthenshire – particularly as one of the reasons for closing its Llandovery branch was because the Llandeilo branch was available.

“HSBC will be transferring its customer accounts to Carmarthen, which it considers to be only seven-and-a-half miles away from Llandeilo. This suggests to me that the decision to close the branch has not been taken locally, but by those with seemingly little knowledge of our communities.

“It is regrettable that the ‘world’s local bank’ appears to becoming more and more isolated from the customers it serves. I will be seeking a meeting with HSBC at the earliest opportunity and putting these concerns to the bank.”

An HSBC spokeswoman blamed a falling number of customers for the closure.

“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,” she told the Guardian .

“Our branch in Llandeilo is a case in point. Customer usage has fallen significantly over the past few years – we have to accept customers habits are changing.

“All residents of Llandeilo will continue to have access to other banking facilities in Llandeilo and several ‘fee free’ ATMs within the immediate area.

“The two members of staff who man the branch will be transferred to other HSBC branches within the area."