NATWEST are closing their branches in Malvern and Droitwich due to the rise of mobile and online banking.

But some residents are concerned about how this will affect businesses and the elderly who rely on the physical branches.

The Droitwich Spa NatWest, in Victoria Square, will shut on June 8, due to a 27 per cent fall in transactions since 2011.

Malvern’s branch, in Church Street, will close on June 6, due to similar concerns about declining use.

NatWest explained the closures by pointing to the 400 per cent increase in mobile and online transactions between 2010 and 2015.

Cllr Cynthia Palmer, the Mayor of Malvern, says NatWest’s departure from the town will be a ‘great loss’ for businesses.

“The presence of a high street bank like NatWest will be sorely missed by the residents of Malvern,” she said.

“Businesses have to use the service over-the-counter. It’s not good for businesses at all, they have to pay in their takings and get change.

“If they think it’s not financially viable, they have to make that decision.

“But for businesses here that use the bank it will be a great loss.

“This seems to be a more and more common occurrence. The loss of these high street banks leaves a gap in the economy of Malvern.”

Earlier this month it emerged that Lloyds Bank in Barnards Green Road, Malvern, will close in March next year.

John Williamson, who lives in Worcester, was surprised to learn about the closure of the NatWest in Droitwich.

Mr Williamson, 68, said: “I received a letter today saying that it will be closing on June 8.

“It’s easier for me to get to Droitwich. A lot of people in Droitwich would not want to travel to Worcester.

“I think it’s convenient for older people who don’t want to travel to Worcester to use a branch. Some of them will have to change banks.

“It always seems quite a busy branch, the staff are really helpful.”

A NatWest spokesman said they have contacted vulnerable customers and regular branch users about the decision.

“We know that not all of our customers are comfortable and familiar with using online or mobile banking, so we have created a new specialist taskforce of digital experts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills,” the spokesman said.

There are 13 free-to-use ATMs within one mile of the Malvern branch and 20 within a mile of the Droitwich Spa branch.

Malvern customers will also have access to a mobile branch.

Malvern and Droitwich Spa will each get a community banker and can use their local Post Office for transactions.

The bank extended the time between the announcement and the closures to six months as a result of community feedback.

NatWest say mobile transactions alone increased by 1,350% between 2010 and 2015.