ROYAL Bank of Scotland will close its branch in Prestatyn next year.

The branch will close in the High Street on January 15, 2019. Bosses termed the decision "difficult."

Chris Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd, has criticised the move.

He said: "This is yet another disappointing decision by a banking establishment, which is going to have an impact on Prestatyn High Street, those who don’t have access to online banking or maybe the computer skills to do so and any staff involved.

“Banks have been pushing people online and are now shutting branches and reducing staff right across the country.

“Sometimes people have the need to speak face-to-face with someone at the bank and just rely on an online ‘chat’ or via a call centre. There is a big concern that the banking industry is heading towards a ‘last branch standing’ situation in our town centres and the government needs to take a real look at the implications of this."

A spokesman for RBS said: "We have taken the difficult decision to close the Royal Bank of Scotland Prestatyn branch.

"We have reviewed our overall branch network strategy; taking in to consideration that our customers are choosing to do more of their banking on their mobile phone or online, and that we now have two branch networks customers can use: NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland, in England and Wales.

"Having taken these difficult decisions however, we are now confident that we have the right shape network to serve our customers’ needs. We will therefore not look again at the overall size of our branch network until at least 2020. This is to give our customers, colleagues and communities some certainty. Our focus now is on further investment to provide our customers with a consistent range of products and services across Scotland, England and Wales."

Customers in Prestatyn are being told they can still access a range of digital, face-to-face and other banking options.

The nearest NatWest branch is in Rhyl. Customers can also access certain banking services at the Post Office.

The RBS spokesman added: "Since 2012 we have seen the way in which people use Prestatyn branch change, with 76 per cent of customers already banking in other ways locally.

"Transactions at Prestatyn have reduced by 36 per cent since 2012 with only 40 customers now visiting the branch on a regular weekly basis.

"We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable customers and regular branch users."