WILTON will lose its last bank next year in a move that has been labelled “short-sighted” by the town’s mayor.

Lloyds in Silver Street will close for the final time in March 2018 with the banking chain blaming the lack of customers for its decline and ultimate closure.

It means that customers will have to travel almost four miles into Salisbury the closest bank, something that will affect many in the town, particularly the elderly.

Mayor of Wilton Peter Edge, who also chairs the Wilton District Business Chamber, said the bank had “contributed to its own demise” after it had reduced its opening hours from five to three days a week around two years ago.

Cllr Edge said: “This is a terrible thing as Wilton is on the up. I think it is short-sighted.”

He added: “We have got new developments being built, the potential for Wilton Parkway to be opened and the Fugglestone Red development which will bring many more to the town and potentially using the bank.”

Lloyds says it now only has 27 regular customers out of the town’s population of more than 3,500.

“We have had an awful lot of people come from Salisbury to Wilton to use the bank rather than driving into Salisbury and paying for parking,” Cllr Edge added.

It is expected that a petition will be started in the new year through Wilton Town Council and the business chamber to appeal to Lloyds to reverse the decision.

“People are feeling strongly about this. We need to make Lloyds aware that we are not happy about this.”

Lloyds has been approached for comment.