Nationwide urged to retain Mildenhall branch

A letter asking Nationwide Building Society to reconsider closing its Mildenhall branch has been written by two prominent councillors.

Deputy leader of Forest Heath District Council, Nigel Roman and cabinet member for economic development and tourism, David Bowman, stressed the “significant impact” the move would have on the local community and highlighted the fact the building, on the Market Place, was grade II listed and part of a wider conservation area.

The letter, dated June 15 and addressed to regional director Larry Banda, said: “Given the increasing cost of fuel, reducing bus services and economic pressures generally, your decision to withdraw the Mildenhall branch is a significantly retrograde step and will cause inconvenience and expense to many customers.

“It is also the case not everyone is comfortable with using telephone or internet banking services.”

The councillors went on to say they shared the concerns of the community and the “potential very negative impact the building would have on the appearance and vibrancy of the town centre,” and invited the building society to discuss how it made the decision to leave Mildenhall,

The branch is set to close at 2pm on August 31, leaving customers to journey to Newmarket, Ely or Bury St Edmunds to find an alternative.

A Nationwide letter to customers said that in order to maintain profits the company must close those branches which were no longer viable.

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A spokesman said she apologised for any inconvenience to customers and added: “This decision is based on a number of factors including profitability, the lease expiry and levels of customer transactions.

“We have written to all our customers who currently use the branch to explain the situation and provide information on other accessible branches and alternative services.”

She said the company hoped to “re-deploy” the majority of employees to neighbouring branches.