TEIGNMOUTH’S branch of Lloyds is among the latest round of closures announced by the banking group.

Lloyds have announced 44 banks will be shutting their doors later this year and into 2024 – with three in Devon.

The chain has announced that the majority will shut towards the end of this year, while the rest will close in 2024. 

The branch in Plymouth is set to close on January 10, 2024, and Teignmouth is planned to close on April 15, 2024, while Crediton’s bank is due to close on July 4, 2024.

This comes on the same day that LINK, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, has announced a new banking hub for Teignmouth. 

Lloyds is the last bank branch in town and LINK has confirmed that the town will benefit from a new banking hub as part of a wider commitment to protect access to cash.

In 2021, the banking industry agreed that following the closure of any bank branch, LINK will identify whether a community requires further cash services. Additionally, any community without a branch can contact LINK directly and ask to be assessed for support.

Banking hubs are a shared banking space, similar to a traditional bank branch, but available to everyone. The banks should work on a rotating basis, so there will be staff from different banks available on different day

When the Devon banks will close: Plymouth, January 10 2024, Teignmouth, April 15, 2024, Crediton, July 4, 2024.

Keith Underhill, chair of the Teignmouth Traders Association, said: ‘Many businesses have expressed concern about the closure, but then on reflection stated that as long as a “Banking Hub” was established in the town, they didn’t believe it would affect their businesses. 

‘There are fears that although the press release does state that “LINK” have decided to that a HUB should be provided, there is much detail still to be provided as to where in the town it will be, and more importantly for some, will it retain the ATM’s. 

‘Lloyds have stated that they will keep the Teignmouth branch open for 12 months to allow this service to be set up.

‘If I am honest there is also a lot of ignorance as to exactly what facilitates a Banking hub provides, and this ignorance, only increase the rumours that “cash” will not be catered for, and everyone will be forced into using the Post Office or travel to their nearest Lloyds branch in Newton. 

‘As more details of exactly what facilitates will be provided at the hub, I believe that most businesses currently expressing their regret at the closure, will realise that the majority of their banking needs will be catered for in the Hub.

‘On reflection, a Hub could increase footfall into the town, if customers of the various national banks at the hub, who would not normally visit Teignmouth decide to use the Hub instead of travelling greater distances for their banking.

‘But I do stress, that pressure needs to be maintained on the “LINK” network, to ensure the HUB is up and running before Lloyds Teignmouth closes its doors for good.’

Teignmouth Mayor, Cllr Joan Atkins, said: ‘Of course, for a town of our size 20,000+ to be without a single bank is a matter of concern for all of us – traders, visitors and residents alike  but particularly those who do not or cannot engage with online banking for all sorts of different reasons. 

Information received showed that there have been huge drops in customer usage at the branch over the last five years.  

‘Now, much of this could be explained by COVID but then COVID changed many people’s habits to achieve many things and they got used to that over the several years of disruption. I was trying to remember the last time I actually went into Lloyds and I am a long-time customer!  

‘On the bright side,  however, LINK, the cash machine network has decided that a Hub should be provided in Teignmouth and they will be in touch with the details over the time before Lloyds closes, as such, in April 2024– a hub is an outlet that customers of any of the major banks can use to deposit and withdraw cash over the counter.  

‘Lloyds also intends to send a banker to the Hub to provide face to face support to their customers on one day per week, and other banks will do the same. Strangely, this is what I kept saying the banks should do when Nat West was about to close, as they had made internal re-arrangements that indicated the space was there for just such an arrangement. 

‘Providing this comes to fruition then most customers will still be able to do face to face banking with a representative of one bank or another in town (arguably even an improvement) but we must ensure that pressure is brought to bear to ensure that that alternative Hub arrangement does come onstream, otherwise the town will be seriously disadvantaged.

'It could also be another nail in the coffin of the town centre since there are cash machines at Morrisons where many people withdraw cash already