EFFORTS to save a Hampshire bank from closing have today failed, according to campaigners.

As reported by the Daily Echo, residents and businesses in Fair Oak have been fighting to save their NatWest branch, which they say is vital as it is the last bank in the village.

They presented senior NatWest officials with a petition of 1,100 signatures but were told at a meeting this afternoon that the decision had been made to close it on July 9.

Jason Judd, who runs the Oven Door Bakery in Botley Road and is spearheading the campaign, said: “We requested a review of the decision but were told it is too late and they didn't give us any reason for that.

“That bank is very important to the village and when we asked what we are supposed to do they just referred us to internet banking, which is not appropriate for all, or to go to Eastleigh, which some people cannot do.”

Mr Judd added: “We did ask them to consider keeping it open for a further 12 months because there are plans for a lot of new buildings around here so potentially a lot of new business but they just weren't going to consider it.”