Town's only bank set to close its doors
PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 May 2014
HIGHBRIDGE'S only remaining bank is to close this summer, ending a 137-year stay in the town.
Natwest on Huntspill Road will close its doors for the final time on July 25, leaving Highbridge without a bank for the first time since the 19th century.
The bank cited a fall of almost 20 per cent in customers using the branch during recent years as more people switch to online alternatives, with just 30 visiting in person on a regular basis.
A spokesman from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which runs Natwest, said: “The nearest Natwest branch is 1.9 miles away in Burnham and we’re significantly investing in its refurbishment in 2014 to improve the service we offer to customers.
“We have advised staff and are writing to customers to make them aware of the closure and the different ways they can still bank with us.
“If customers are concerned about how this will impact their banking, they can go into the branch where staff will be happy to discuss the alternative options available.”
Last month RBS announced it was to close 44 banks in the UK, with 14 of those classed as the ‘last bank in town’. Already the Highbridge branch opens for less than 15 hours per week.
Independent councillor Bill Hancock said: “It is a sign of the times that everything is moving online. You don’t like to see it close, but it was already only open for short hours.
“I don’t think we will ever see business in the town how is was in the old days, it is sad to see the town centre how it is now when I think back to how I remember it. I think Sedgemoor (District Council) is more interested in bringing in properties than helping businesses.”