Wiltshire Publications

‘A sad day in a changing world’ Westbury’s last bank to close its doors

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 at 11:13 am.

THE planned closure of the last bank in Westbury, Lloyds bank, has been described by the mayor as “very bad news for Westbury.” Lloyds bank announced last week that their branch on Edward Street, will close in February. 

The announcement follows the closure of Barclays bank in May this year, and the closure of the town’s main Post Office. Lloyds bank say they will be closing the Westbury branch on 21st February, 2019. 

When the closure of Barclays was announced in February, White Horse News approached Lloyds Bank for a comment, as the only bank left in the town. At the time, they said, “There are no current plans to close the Lloyds Bank branch in Westbury. We are committed to our branch network and continue to adapt our service to the changing ways our customers choose to bank with us.”

Mayor of Westbury, Ian Cunningham said, “The closure of Lloyds bank is very bad news for Westbury.  A sad day in a changing world. 

“Whilst it isn’t a complete surprise that we have joined the increasing number of quite sizable towns in the UK that no longer have any banks, I had hoped that when Barclays sadly closed their doors, there might have been a sufficient rally of customers for Lloyds to  persuade them that it was worth staying open as our only bank. The bank’s figures suggest this didn’t happen.

“I am sure people will call on the town council to “do something” but, in reality, there isn’t much we can do. We have no powers to force someone to run a business when they don’t want to do so; that’s between them and their customers. I can’t speak for the town council as a whole (that is a matter for a vote by all the councillors) but I would be very surprised if we don’t express our regret and ask the bank to reconsider. In the meantime, I would urge people who want those businesses that still trade to stay in our town to use them – in the end the hard fact of business is that businesses disappear when not used.

“The only positive I can suggest is that, were I one of the businesses considering taking on the Post Office offer, this might increase the appeal. The Post Office does have banking deals with some banks (although I don’t know if they would apply to any contract in Westbury) as well as their own banking services, so there would seem to be more income opportunities that might encourage someone to close a deal with the Post Office and end the town’s prolonged wait for a taker.

 “I am also very sorry for the staff. I am a customer of that branch through some of the voluntary groups with which I work and have always found the staff helpful and polite – particularly when sorting out those things for which the internet and phone have failed, and, of course, when dealing with cash. I hope the bank can offer suitable alternative work.

“It is a shame that the major clearing banks could not have come together to operate joint counter services for those customers who still need them, those customers who still would like them and for all those cases where only a face-to-face conversation can untangle the knots that sometimes occur; I suspect they would see it as not economic.”

Town councillors will discuss the planned bank closure at their policy and resources committee meeting on Monday 3rd December at 7pm at the Laverton. 

As the shock announcement was made of the bank’s planned closure, Lloyds issued a statement saying,“We have made the difficult decision to close the Lloyds Bank Westbury branch. This is due to the changing ways customers choose to bank with us, which has resulted in the branch being used less often.

“We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. Customers can continue to access their banking locally by visiting the nearby post office, which is approximately a mile from the branch.

“Customers will have their accounts realigned to Warminster branch around 4 miles away, and there will be no other impact to the way they manage their accounts.  They can use any branch for their banking needs, as well as utilising the other banking options available to them.”

The nearest Lloyds bank facilities are Warminster, 37 Market Place BA12 9BD and Trowbridge, 64 Fore Street BA14 8EU. 

Alternatively, personal and business banking customers can withdraw money or check their balance, as well as pay in cheques and money to their account at any Post Office. The nearest Post Office is located at The Ham, 50 The Ham, Westbury, BA13 4HD.

3 Responses to ‘A sad day in a changing world’ Westbury’s last bank to close its doors

  1. Lloyd

    November 21, 2018 at 4:20 am

    With today’s modern technology, ie the internet, you don’t really need to bother with a physical bank. Nearly all my banking I do online. I can open up an account on line, apply for a credit card, set up standing orders/ direct debits, make payments and transfers, and so on. In fact, the only time I’ve gone into a bank recently is when I had to pay a cheque in. Even cheques are becoming a thing of a past now. It makes sense if the branch isn’t being used that much as it saves money.

  2. Lloyd

    November 21, 2018 at 4:23 am

    Becoming a thing of the past I meant to say lol

  3. Mary

    November 22, 2018 at 11:58 am

    You can deposit cheques on the Lloyds banking app up to £500. Also freeze & unfreeze bank cards if needed

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