Exclusive by Alan Quick

THE Crediton branch of NatWest at the corner of Market Street and High Street in the town was today, Friday, December 1, named as one of 13 in Devon which are to close.

Across the country 259 branches will be closed, the Crediton branch’s last day of trading on Monday, June 4.

Other branches announced are at Axminster, the University of Exeter, Sidmouth, Teignmouth, Okehampton, Ilfracombe, Holsworthy, South Molton, Totnes, Dartmouth, Plympton and Crownhill in Plymouth.

A bank spokesperson said: "We provide our customers with more ways to bank than ever before – customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options.

“The way people bank with us has changed radically over the last few years: since 2014, the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40 per cent.

"During the same period mobile transactions have increased by 73 per cent; and in the first half of 2017, there were 1.1 billion mobile and online transactions carried out by our customers: an increase of 41 per cent since 2014."

"We know that not all of our customers are comfortable or familiar with using online or mobile banking, so we have created a new specialist taskforce of NatWest TechXperts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills until the branches close.

"We are following the Access to Banking Standard and we have made our decision after careful consideration of a wide range of factors including changes in customer usage of the branches over a long period of time; how often customers are using the branches and the types of transactions they undertake; the number of customers who only bank via the branches; and the other ways our customers can bank locally."

Both Lloyds and Yorkshire Building Society announced branch closures and job losses earlier this week.

The Crediton branch of Lloyds Bank, also located in the High Street, has not been announced as closing.

NatWest says that 680 jobs will be lost as part of the 259 branch closures announced today.

Crediton NatWest customers will find the nearest branch after the closure date will be NatWest in Exeter High Street.

• Are you concerned about the closure of the NatWest branch in Crediton?

Share your views with fellow “Courier” readers. Write a letter, suitable for publication, with your name, address and a daytime telephone number (not necessarily for publication) to: The Editorial Manager, “Crediton Courier”, 102 High Street, Crediton EX17 3LF.

Alternatively, email your letter, with the required information, to: [email protected] .