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The Parish Chairman, Cllr Bob Hutchings, wrote to the chairman of Nationwide over the closure of the Highcliffe branch. He received a speedy if not altogether unsurprising response from the regional director, Andrew Manning.

Quoting a range of statistics, Mr Manning outlined the society’s case that their facilities are no longer needed in the village because most residents now use other branches. He said it was “a carefully considered decision.”

Cllr Hutchings said: “Mr Manning advised that they were ‘keen to help’ vulnerable members who need extra support during the change. “He concluded by asking the parish council to direct customers to call into the Christchurch branch or call 0800 554 1225.”

Cllr Hutchings added: “Presumably everyone with an account, if they choose to feel vulnerable, should drop in and say Mr Manning told them to come and seek help. Who knows, the staff might even refund your taxi fare.

“We felt we had to write a letter from the parish council but I was not in the least bit surprised by the response.”

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