NatWest Bank is to close six of it’s branches in Cornwall. They say hardly anyone uses them any more but concerns have been raised for the elderly and vulnerable who rely on a high street service.
The RBS/Natwest group is 72% owned by the tax payer after it was bailed out during the recent financial crash. It will close 62 Royal Bank of Scotland branches, and 197 NatWest branches nationally.
An RBS spokesperson said: “More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile. Since 2014 the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40% and mobile transactions have increased by 73% over the same period. Over 5 million customers now use our mobile banking app and one in five only bank with us digitally.
We expect these branch closures to result in around 680 redundancies. We realise this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected. We will ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to an absolute minimum”.
The Cornish branches to close are:
- Wadebridge branch will close on December 8 (a mobile service will be in place for 12 weeks)
- Newquay Bank Street on February 19,
- St Ives on May 21,
- Bodmin on May 29,
- Helston on June 11
- Liskeard on June 18.
The bank said that they were introducing new measures to offset the loss of the branches,
“We are writing to customers of affected branches to highlight the alternative ways to bank in their area” said a spokesperson. “Our new Community Banker provides customers with personal assistance and support to access our non-cash services, as well as help with achieving their financial plans and goals – replicating many of the services available in our branches. Our Community Bankers will get to know local communities, engage with local groups and provide training and education on issues such as fraud and scams protection in their local area.
We know that not all of our customers are comfortable or familiar with using online or mobile banking, so we have created a new specialist taskforce of TechXperts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills. There will be 103 Community Bankers in post across the UK by the end of March 2018, serving around 250 communities.