The forthcoming closure of the NatWest branch at Ransomes Europark on the outskirts of Ipswich has been described as "a blow" to the community.

NatWest announced earlier this month its branch in The Sandlings on the industrial estate will shut its doors on November 8.

Its bank in Tavern Street in the town centre is to remain open.

Confirming the closure, NatWest said average counter transactions at the Ransomes branch reduced by 60pc between January 2019 and January 2023.

A spokesman for NatWest said: "We completely understand that online banking isn’t right for everyone.

Ipswich Star: NatWest's branch in Ipswich town centre will remain openNatWest's branch in Ipswich town centre will remain open (Image: Charlotte Bond)

"Sometimes you want to chat things through with someone.

"We promise that you’ll still be able to talk to one of our team either on the phone, by video or in one of our other branches."

The closure comes amid a raft of banks shutting in wider Suffolk this year – leaving some towns fearing they may be left with no branches in the coming years.

Barclays has confirmed it is shutting its branch in Framlingham, meaning the east Suffolk town will be without a bank after the closure in late August.

Jack Abbott, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, said face-to-face banking must be protected and noted how many people in the community may not be familiar with banking online or on mobile devices.

Ipswich Star: Jack Abbott, Labour candidate for IpswichJack Abbott, Labour candidate for Ipswich (Image: Jack Abbott)

He said: "This will be a blow for many people, especially those who struggle to use digital banking and rely on in-person services.

"We must protect face-to-face banking, ensuring essential in-person services, including opening new accounts, applying for loans, making and receiving payments and setting up standing orders.

"There must also be guarantees that people will still have free access to cash services as there is real concern that, unless action is taken, paying fees for withdrawals from cash machines or retailers will soon become the norm."