Calls to save HSBC in Seaton

HSBC customers ‘livid’ over closure of the resort’s branch.

A BUSINESSMAN from Seaton is appealing for people in the town to let their voices be heard - to keep the resort’s HSBC branch open.

Customer’s of the high street bank were told that HSBC plans to close the branch at the end of September as a result of the declining numbers through the doors.

Colin Gray, 53, who runs a domestic repair service company, says he relies on the branch to run his business.

He said: “I am absolutely livid about the branch closing - I use the bank constantly for my business and if I have to drive to Lyme Regis my business would not be viable.

“It is going to cost me a lot of money, if HSBC goes ahead with the closure.

“I have never gone in there and no one is there. If I have not got to queue it’s a miracle, because it is that busy.

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“We have got to fight for the bank.”

Mr Gray also feels the closure will cause problems for elderly members of the community who, maybe, do not have access to transport. He added: “If elderly customers don’t have a car they may have to change banks, which will be inconvenient.

“The closure will effect the community.”

Customer accounts will be transferred to other branches in the area including Sidmouth, Axminster, and Lyme Regis.

He said: “It is just another community service closing down in Seaton.

“If enough people make noise about it, we might be able to change HSBC’s mind.”

Other residents in the town have raised their concerns about the closure.

A Seaton resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It seems to be a very busy branch and I can’t imagine why HSBC are closing it.

“I am leaving the bank because the branch is closing. We need to have a branch to go and pay money into now we have to drive to another branch.

“The bank are going to lose customers. It is a big shame, especially with having such a prominent place in Seaton.

“I am completely surprised by the decision. I could have understood if no one was in there using it.”

Eleanor Grose, 61, of Seaton, said: “I think the bank’s closure will effect a lot of older people.”

Gemma Bartlett, 32, of Beer, said: “Everything is going out of Seaton.

“Now, I think most people do their banking online. I feel sorry for older people who cannot use the internet for banking.

“Older people will struggle, but the closure does not affect me personally.

“Having a bank there, it means people are more likely to shop in the town when they have to pop into the bank, which would be an end to that.”

David Newbery, 84, said: “The closure would mean you have to get transport to other branches. I expect people would change over to another bank.

“It is another local service gone.”

A Branscombe resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It is a shame the branch is closing. It is frustrating because, just occasionally, you need to go to the bank and now we will have to go to Sidmouth.

“It is going to be harder for older people, who are not very mobile, who, maybe, don’t use the internet for things. They should be able to use one of the banks.”