MP joins fight to save Seaton bank

Seaton NatWest Bank - set to close in March. Photo Chris Carson

Seaton NatWest Bank - set to close in March. Photo Chris Carson - Credit: Archant

Campaigners say replacing NatWest branch with a mobile unit for an hour once a week is “wholly inadequate”

MP Neil Parish has called on NatWest Bank to reconsider its plans to close its Seaton branch.

He has joined local people in condemning the move and has written to local CEO Donna Edmonds urging her to reverse the decision.

The bank recently revealed it had taken “the difficult decision” to shut its counter service in Fore Street on March 11, blaming lack of use.

A spokeswoman said: “The number of transactions taking place has dropped by 13 per cent and the branch is only open for 22 hours a week.

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“Over our whole branch network there has been a 30 per cent drop in branch transactions since 2010 as people do their banking where and when it is convenient for them, whilst online and mobile transactions have grown by over 200 per cent.”

Since the announcement Seaton Mayor Gaynor Sedgwick and Seaton and District Chamber of Commerce Chairman Marcus Hartnell have held a fruitless meeting with Ms Edmonds to ask her to halt the closure.

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They pointed out that although an ATM will remain and a mobile unit will visit Seaton on a Monday, for one hour only, this was “wholly inadequate.”

Cllr Sedgwick said she did not seem to have taken into account that:

* Seaton is a regeneration town, one of only two in East Devin,

* There has been significant investment in the town in recent years.

* Bovis Homes are underway with building a new housing estate.

* There are potentially several new developments in the pipeline including a gym and dance studio, retail units and apartments.

* The Jurassic Coast Centre is expected to attract thousands of additional visitors to Seaton.

* The closure of this bank leaves the town with only one other bank.

* Customers do not wish to travel to other towns to do their banking.

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