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Despite televised demonstrations by the local Last Bank Standing campaign and appeals by the town council and Member of Parliament, Lloyds Bank is closing its branch and leaving Glastonbury with no banks at all. A further noisy protest on April 5 as the doors close will leave the town’s feelings in no doubt.
Barclays abandoned Glastonbury in March; HSBC vanished in November; Natwest went in July of 2014. All four still have branches at Street and Wells, and business customers will have to trek there to deposit cash. The post office will accept payments into personal accounts.
Lloyds Bank needs planning approval to remove signage and the cash machine from outside the listed building and fittings and equipment from inside.
The former Natwest building, also listed, is now owned by John and Linda Ravenscroft, who are turning the upper two floors into living space and the ground floor into an art studio and shop.
The HSBC (formerly Midland Bank) and Barclays buildings farther up the High Street are not listed. In January the town council registered all four as Assets of Community Value, possibly the first time this ploy has been applied to banks; the usual purpose is to stem the loss of village pubs and shops.