NatWest announces its Bromsgrove branch will be closing - The Bromsgrove Standard

NatWest announces its Bromsgrove branch will be closing

Bromsgrove Editorial 12th Oct, 2022 Updated: 13th Oct, 2022   0

BROMSGROVE was dealt another banking blow this week when NatWest announced it was closing its High Street branch on January 31, 2023.

It comes months after Barclays revealed it was closing its branch in the town – that shuts for good on Monday, October 17.

NatWest said in a letter to customers it was ‘a difficult decision that had not been taken lightly’.

Residents have taken to social media to give their views.

Amanda Allen, said she had received excellent service from the branch and was sad to see them go while Janice Styler accused the banks of ‘pushing people into a cashless society’.

“Everyone wants to work from home, which is leading us into a cashless society and online everything – the end of society as we know it.”

William Whitford also felt banks were ‘bullying people into going cashless’.

Residents also praised the staff and the relationships they had built with customers and voiced concerns over possible redundancies.

Emma Senior, said: “It is so bad, most of the staff have been there for years.”

Once closed, the next closest branch will be in Redditch town centre, which could prove challenging and costly for some, including the elderly and vulnerable, to travel to.

NatWest told customers, apart from the branch address on statements and cheque books, all their banking details, including sort code, account number, standing orders and direct debits, would remain the same.

NatWest urged customers to call 0131 381 6528 if they want to speak to a Customer Support Specialist.

Figures show between 2019 and 2022, counter transactions at the NatWest branch decreased by 59 per cent and the branch was used by just six personal customers on a regular basis.

Customers are able to use the same banking services at any Post Office and the nearest branch (Redditch) is under six miles away.

A NatWest spokesperson said: “As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking, because it’s faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.

“We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.

“We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them.”

Barclays attributed its closure to a sustained fall in branch visits across the country as customers found other ways to do their banking.

The bank reported a 60 per cent drop in counter transactions in the two years to March 2020 with only 27 regular customers.

  • What do you think about the closure plans? Maybe you regularly use the branch of NatWest or Barclays? How will the closures affect you and your family? Email your views to [email protected]


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