A PETITION launched by Hazlemere traders to save a bank from closure has been signed by 1200 people.

Traders reacted to the announcement from RBS that it would be closing Natwest on June 18 by urging shoppers to sign a petition in a bid to convince the bankers that the branch is a cornerstone of Park Parade.

Mike Darnell, who works in Thamesside Carpets, said: “If Natwest were to close, not only would it affect elderly residents and other people who bank there, but it would affect every trader on the parade.

“It would leave Hazlemere with only Lloyds and the traders rely on the banks to bank cheques and what not. It would be greatly missed.”

RBS said footfall had dropped by 15 per cent in recent years, adding just 53 of the 916 active customers visited the Hazlemere bank every week.

Mr Darnell said he found those figures “hard to believe” and would be sending the petition to RBS in the coming days.

He said: “How can say they are closing it down due to a lack of footfall? I walked out of there the other day because the queues were so long.

“The queues will only get longer at Lloyds if it’s the only bank left.”

Explaining the closure, RBS spokesman Lisa Irvine said this month: “More of our customers are using alternative ways to bank with us, such as online and telephone banking, or using their mobile phone.

“As a result, we’ve seen the number of people using the branch fall significantly over the last few years and so we’ve made the difficult decision to close the Hazlemere branch in June.”

Joyce Melia, 72, told the BFP the village’s elderly residents feel “upset and marginalised” by the firm’s decision to shut down the branch.