Wiltshire Publications

High Street bank to close in the summer

WESTBURY’Sbranch of the Co-operative Bank, formerly the Britannia, will shut down  in June after the company deemed it unsustainable.

The bank, which saved the Britannia by its takeover during the banking crisis in 2009, will close its doors in Westbury for the last time on 29th June.

Liam Coleman, Co-operative Bank’s director of retail and commercial banking said, “We have always been very clear about the need to reduce the branch network to a size that is consistent with a smaller, sustainable bank as part of our business plan to turn the bank around.

“These decisions are never easy and, unfortunately, this includes closing branches where the number of transactions has declined significantly, meaning it is no longer sustainable.

“We have sought to keep the impact on our customers to a minimum and are writing to affected customers giving them advance notice about these changes and the alternative options available to them.

“Alongside online and mobile banking facilities, all closing branches are within three miles of a Post Office branch where customers can undertake most day-to-day transactions, and in many cases are much closer.”

Gregor Bolwell, from Dilton Marsh, says he has been a customer for over 20 years but has not been told that the bank will close.

“I think it’s disgusting that I’ve had to hear about this from a third party, and that the Co-op hasn’t contacted its customers first for them to make alternative arrangements,” he said.

“I’ve been with the bank for over 20 years and I’m running out of places to go. There’s not a branch in Trowbridge, Warminster  or Frome – I don’t even know where the closest one will be. Because they haven’t been in touch I don’t know what I can and can’t do at the Post Office.

“I don’t know whether I’ll stay with the bank. I can’t always do what I need to online, and it’s getting more and more difficult – I don’t want to drive 30-odd miles every time I need to go to the bank.”

When the branch closes the nearest one will be on Milsom Street in Bath; over 15 miles from Westbury. Others are in Chippenham, Wells, and Salisbury.