Upset as Barclays Bank closes in Ottery
- Credit: Archant
The closure of Barclays Bank was branded ‘another nail in the coffin’ for Ottery - but the company says it is evolving to meet changing needs.
Chamber of commerce chairman Viv Abbott condemned the ‘devastating’ decision to close the Barclays Silver Street branch on Friday, leaving just one bank in the town, writes Eleanor Pipe.
She said: “We are very disappointed that yet another bank has seen fit to close in the town. I know it is a nationwide thing, but for communities it has quite a devastating effect. It’s not just about the commercial aspect - people need their bank and the businesses do as well. It just leaves Lloyds Bank in the town now, which people will, of course, support.
“As a chamber, we dearly regret that they took the decision to close.”
Customers rushed to get their banking done last week before the branch shut its doors for good.
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Mary Twiss, of Tipton St John, said: “I do not go to Honiton. I do go to Sidmouth, but it means paying for parking. I do not do online banking and I know a lot of people in my position. It is a very sad day. It’s another nail in the coffin for Ottery.”
Customer Di Candy said: “It’s just sad to see it go. I went in today to say goodbye.”
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Michael Watts, community leader for Barclays Devon, said: “We must evolve the shape and size of our branch network in response to changing customer behaviour. At the Ottery branch, customer usage had continued to decline and 40 per cent of our customers already regularly use alternative branches, which is why we took the difficult decision to close the branch. This figure was higher for business customers.
“All of our customers will have received a letter, posters were displayed in-branch and colleagues were on hand to assist customers with any concerns they may have had. We proactively engaged with local businesses and the wider community to discuss the alternative ways customers would be able to undertake their banking locally, before the branch closed.”
He added alternative branches are available in Honiton and Sidmouth and customers can access services at the Post Office in Mill Street.