NatWest customers reacted angrily to the news that the Wellington branch is to close in October, along with 157 others across the UK.
“It’s disgusting and I’m a bit shell-shocked to be honest,” said Barry Troake, who has banked at the branch for 30 years. “It’s only last year that they closed the bank for a few weeks and spent thousands renovating it.
“I go in three or four times a week and I’m not the only one in town who’s disgruntled I’m sure.”
Shirley Pitcher from West Buckland was equally upset. ”I’m very sad and we’ll miss it terribly,” she said. “It’s another blow for the little towns. I think this will hurt Wellington.”
Younger customers were a little more sanguine. “I only opened a NatWest business account four or five months ago,” said motor mechanic Stefan Browning. “I suppose I’ll just move back down the road to Barclays – until they close too.”
Andy Govier, town and district councillor, said: “I’m disappointed but not totally surprised. I’m afraid it’s another major building empty in Wellington and we need to make sure we keep a viable town centre.”
NatWest say customers affected have been contacted. NatWest says it has created a new role to help customers with assistance.
A spokesperson added: “We have a national agreement with the Post Office to provide our customers with a range of banking services.
“Customers can pay money in, take money out, check balances and business customers can get coinage.”
NatWest is also closing branches in Langport, Cheddar and Burnham on Sea. The bank is part of RBS, still 70% publicly-owned and losing around £7bn last year.