Closure of Axminster's last remaining bank


The Lloyds bank in Axminster's Trinity Square. - Credit: Barrie Hedges.

Lloyds bank in Axminster is set to close.

The firm announced the news that its town centre bank will close in November as part of a company-wide move.

But Axminster Chamber of Commerce has criticised the decision, saying it will have 'major consequences for the community’. 

The Chamber of Commerce’s management committee will discuss the matter at a meeting today (July 25). 

 Among the suggestions put forward to the chamber, they will be considering asking NatWest to bring its mobile banking facility - currently stationed at the Tesco superstore on Mondays – to the town centre. 

 It may also ask the Post Office to increase its staffing to cope with the additional demand and to more intensively publicise its banking services. 

Chamber members will also look at the issue of losing the Lloyds cashpoint and of trying to secure support for a replacement.  

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Closure of the last bank represents a further big challenge for a town that has seen its traditional carpet industry decline in recent years along with a succession of business closures.

An effort to secure much needed funding from the Government’s High Streets Fund in 2019 also failed. 

Axminster Chamber of Commerce chair, Jane Rockett, criticised the lack of consultation from the bank and promised that every effort would be made to try to fill the substantial gap that was being left. 

“One would hope that it would be discussed beforehand rather than announced as a statement of fact," she said.

"While some of us have of necessity switched to online banking, there are many vulnerable and elderly people for whom a local branch is a necessity.

“The harsh fact is that those people will now have to drive or catch a bus to neighbouring towns to do their banking and will then shop there, so undermining Axminster’s town centre.

"We are a dementia-friendly town, and losing our one remaining bank is a big backward step.” 

A Lloyds Bank spokesperson: “Visits to our Axminster branch have dropped over recent years and transactions have fallen significantly, as many customers now choose to bank in different ways. When the branch closes in November, customers can continue to bank in person with us at the Seaton branch, or the local Post Office on West Street.”

The Axminster branch will close on the 2nd November 2022 and Lloyds research showed branch transactions at the Axminster branch fell over 78% between 2017 and 2022.

Customers are being encouraged to use Seaton Lloyds Bank for their banking. As well as other options such as the Post Office, online, mobile and telephone banking.