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Lloyds South West Area Manager asked for an urgent meeting to discuss planned Ottery branch closure

Thursday, 26 April 2018 5 Comments by Claire

I have just sent this email to the South West Area Manager for Lloyds Bank….

Dear Mr Evans

I am writing to express my deep disappointment at the news of the proposed closure of Ottery’s Lloyds Bank branch.

I am also disappointed that you did not write to me personally as the Devon County Councillor for Ottery St Mary, to let me know of the situation.

I am asking you to reconsider your intention to shut the Lloyds branch here in Ottery St Mary.

Ottery’s branch is the only bank now left in the town, which has a population (including nearby villages) of around 10,000.  Hundreds of new houses have been given planning consent and continue to be built in the coming months and years.

I know from talking to local people and traders that they really value your bank and whenever I pass it, it always seems busy.

The town’s traders unsurprisingly are finding things tough during these difficult times and several businesses have closed in recent times.  If Lloyds closed here it would make things harder for them, as they would need to take a 10 mile round trip to either Sidmouth or Honiton to do their banking, potentially several times a week.

Ottery also has a large proportion of elderly people, many of whom do not have their own transport. I know that many elderly people living here rely on being able to bank in the town.

Closing it would mean a 10 mile round trip on public transport. Fine for a fit person but potentially very hard for someone who is not in the best of health or who is infirm.  Elderly people would be very disadvantaged by such a decision.

I would be grateful if we could meet at your earliest convenience, to discuss the issue.

Best wishes
Cllr Claire Wright

Pic:  Ottery’s Lloyds branch. The last bank standing in the town.

Comments

1. At 04:58 pm on 26th Apr Malcolm Lee wrote:

Good luck with this Claire. It is outrageous that the last bank in town can desert their elderly customers who do not have a computer and cannot therefore do on line banking…and who would trust banks with on line banking after the recent TSB debacle? To up and go without consideration of the local community and its leaders just shows how contemptible the banking world is. Surely if they were interested in the community then it should be possible to have an Ottery banking hall where all the major banks could share the same facilities and cover counter services. I have had similar issues with NatWest in Sidmouth and my mother’s account there. I was considering moving her account to Lloyds in Sidmouth but not after this.

2. At 05:38 pm on 26th Apr Jayne Cann wrote:

My 88 year old mother along with my disabled sister both bank at lloyds and visit the branch weekly. My mother only uses cash she will not use a cash point. They both rely on me for transport, my sister walks with a frame so public transport is not an option for them. To lose the only bank in the town is ridiculous. To say online banking has ruined custom and anyone can do it have not met my family. It will just be another job for me to fit in. I happily help them in anything they need, but promoting independence for them is a priority, with Ottery growing surely a bank is a valuable resource for the community.

3. At 04:49 am on 27th Apr Paul F wrote:

Ultimately this is our Government’s fault for not protecting local communities by forcing banks to share their infrastructure.

4. At 09:29 am on 28th Apr Chris Burhop wrote:

If this was a pub or a shop we could apply to classify it as a community asset. It is of similar importance to towns of 10k people. I think the business secretary should be writing to Lloyds to urge them to reconsider, when their branch is the last bank in the town. In fact it should be protected by statute.
In the meantime I like the “shared bank hall” idea as a direct suggestion to Lloyds.

5. At 10:49 am on 28th Apr Fran Beer wrote:

Shutting the bank is an outrage sadly affecting the most frail and vaunrable.  These are often the people who have had the same account with the same bank for all their lives. In many cases lloyds will have benefited from the other banks in Otteryour closing as many of the elderly, infirm and vaunrable people have moved their accounts to lloyds due to it remaining in the town.  The bank I have noted can be incredibly busy.  The closure of the bank demonstrates complete disregard for a large population of loyal, elderly, infirm customers.  I am appalled by this if the town cannot provide such a basic service as a local bank why do we think building on this once small town is acceptable?.

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