Banton broke the deadlock in style in first-half stoppage time in front of 13,251, npower League Two's biggest attendance of the season.
The on-loan Crystal Palace forward took his Plymouth tally to six goals with a superb angled strike from 20 yards that flew past City number one Artur Krysiak and in off the inside of the far post.
Promotion-chasing Exeter had an ideal opportunity to take the lead in the opening minutes when Jamie Cureton beat marker Paul Wotton to a long through ball but his strike from the edge of the box flew wide.
There was little City striker Cureton - six yards out - could do about a thumping 69th minute Arron Davies' cross that flew off him and wide of the target.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jamie Cureton
- Artur Krysiak