The Royal Bank of Scotland has submitted a planning application to South Somerset District Council for permission to remove the existing exterior signage, ATM and non-original internal fixtures, fittings, furniture and equipment relating to the operation of the NatWest in Market Street, Crewkerne. RBS have also applied for Listed Building Consent to carry out the above alterations at the Grade 2* listed building and to infill the wall to suit the fabric with stone to match the original Ham Hill stone ashlar.
The Royal Bank of Scotland announced in November last year that the Crewkerne branch was one of 197 NatWest branches across the UK which would close in 2018. More customers banking online was given as a reason for the closures with RBS stating that since 2014, use of its branches had fallen by around 40%. The Unite union which represents bank employees called the cuts ‘savage’ and commented that the Government signing off on the branch closure programme was ‘alarming’. The NatWest bank in Crewkerne is scheduled to close on June 13th, according to the RBS website. Chard NatWest is due to close one week earlier on June 6th.
The nearest branches of NatWest after the closures will be in Ilminster, Yeovil and Bridport. RBS have advised customers that they can get a balance and make withdrawals using their debit card and PIN at post offices, where they can also pay in cash using a pre-printed paying in slip. Business customers are advised that they can make deposits of up to £2,000, withdrawals of up to £500 and can register for the change giving service at post offices.
The Georgian style 3 storey building which currently houses the NatWest bank in Crewkerne was one of the first purpose built banks in England. Its banking history in the town has run continuously for approximately 180 years. South Somerset District Council are expected to make a decision on the application for listed building consent and the full planning application on April 2nd and April 12th respectively.