Another Axminster bank to close

The Santander branch in Axminster which is due to close. Picture: Chirs Carson

The Santander branch in Axminster which is due to close. Picture: Chirs Carson - Credit: Archant

Santander in West Street will shut its branch in May

Another Axminster bank is set to close its doors for good.

Santander announced yesterday (Wednesday. January 23) that it will be closing 140 of its branches in 2019, with Axminster’s branch shutting on May 2.

A bank spokesperson said it will look to find alternative roles for 1,270 people affected wherever possible and expects to redeploy about a third of staff.

It follows the closure of the town’s NatWest bank and the HSBC, leaving just Lloyds as the only bank in the town.

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Santender says the closures are in response to changes in how customers are choosing to carry out their banking.

Susan Allen, head of retail and business banking, said: “The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels. As a result, we have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less visited branches, and those where we have other branches in close proximity.

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“We will support customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs. We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles for those impacted wherever possible.

“We continue to believe that branches have a vital role to play and we will be refurbishing 100 of our branches over the next two years. We are confident that following these changes we will have the right branch network to serve our customers’ changing needs, and we expect the size of our network to remain stable for the foreseeable future.”

The bank says it plans to invest £55million to refurbish 100 branches over the next two years as part of its future branch network plans.

A bank spokesman said: “Santander will support customers of closing branches to find other ways to bank that best suit their needs, including individual help to find alternative Santander branches and access digital, telephone and Post Office banking services.”

Customer Alan Cameron, aged 78, said the closure would seriously hit him.

He said: “If they take the cashpoint away I won’t be able to take any money out and I am unable to travel all the way to Honiton to transact with Santander there. Also on-line banking is very dangerous and people can lose thousands through scammers. It’s a playground for criminals.”

Santander’s nearest branch to Axminster- at High Street Honiton - will remain open.

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