A THEATRE and cinema in Wallingford have been praised for doubling up as a banking service after third bank closure in the town.

The Corn Exchange in Market Place will have a ‘community banker’ in the foyer of the theatre every Thursday from February 2 until the middle of July.

It was announced after the news that Lloyds Bank, also in Market Place, will be closing at the end of the month.

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NatWest, which was in the High Street, was the first to close in 2017 followed by Barclays, in Market Place, which closed in August last year.

The latest closure came due to the bank’s figures showing that in-person transactions for personal banking had fallen 53 per cent since 2017 while cashpoint transactions had fallen 64 per cent during the same period.

Lloyds Bank also highlighted most of the customers using the branch in-person were aged 55 to 74 (34 per cent) with people aged 18 and below accounting for two per cent.

Johns Evans, marketing director of the Corn Exchange, said: “There will be a Lloyds ‘Community Banker’ in the foyer of the theatre to help customers with any banking requirements.

“Although many people now bank online there are some that require a more personal service and we're delighted to help out.

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“Since 1978, The Corn Exchange has been supporting the town through arts and culture as well as contributing to local initiatives.

“The workshop has created a number of models for the annual bonfire, the Sinodun Players drama group has been involved in events such as the Christmas fair, we have supported Bunkfest as a key venue and many local groups have used our spaces for meetings.

“This latest initiative helps preserve a communication link to banking in the town for those people wanting to speak to a human rather than a machine.

“We are pleased to offer this facility so that our townsfolk can continue to have a personal banker."

Since the announcement, the Corn Exchange has been praised for taking on the role with many residents hoping the ‘community banker’ role could continue on passed July.

People are pleased with the service as a lot of people who live in the town do not have access to online banking as well as being beneficial for businesses who handle large quantities of money.

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Residents had previously felt ‘abandoned’ by the bank closures, with one woman stating she had been banking with Lloyds for years and ‘does not understand internet banking’.

Another man added that people ‘should be given a choice’ rather than being ‘pushed into a cashless society’.


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @geeharland