NatWest branches in Holsworthy and Bude set to close
Friday, 1 December 2017 By The Post in Local People
NATWEST said it has taken the ’difficult decision’ to close its Bude and Holsworthy branches.
The Bude branch will close on June 4 and the Holsworthy branch on June 14 next year.
It said since 2012, it has seen the way in which people use both branches ’change dramatically’. In Bude 85%, and in Holsworthy 81% of customers are already banking in other ways, said NatWest.
The bank said 54 customers visit the Bude branch on a weekly basis, and 46 in Holsworthy.
The nearest NatWest bank after the closures will be Launceston.
A spokesperson said: “We provide our customers with more ways to bank than ever before – customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options. The way people bank with us has changed radically over the last few years: since 2014, the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40%. During the same period mobile transactions have increased by 73%; and in the first half of 2017, there were 1.1 billion mobile and online transactions carried out by our customers: an increase of 41% since 2014.
“We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable customers and regular branch users. We have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months; this has been done so that we can ensure our customers have enough time to consider the right banking options for them and to give us time to support them one-to-one during the transition.
“We are committed to ensuring our customers and communities are able to continue accessing quality banking services. As part of this, 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 the local community, engage with local groups and provide training and education on issues such as fraud and scams protection in the 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 NatWest TechXperts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills until the branches close.
“We are following the Access to Banking Standard and we have made our decision after careful consideration of a wide range of factors including changes in customer usage of the branches over a long period of time; how often customers are using the branches and the types of transactions they undertake; the number of customers who only bank via the branches; and the other ways our customers can bank locally.
“We provide a range of alternative ways to bank, tailored to the needs of our customers and reflective of the way they live their lives. These include:
• Online and mobile: we are committed to educating customers on how to use these channels securely and simply.
• Telephony: our customers can contact us over the phone, via web-chat and social media. Our contact centres are open 24/7 and teams are trained to answer almost every query at first point of contact. Services available over the phone range from transfers and payments to opening new accounts, financial reviews and support with using digital banking.
• Video Banking: Customers are able to connect to our Video Bankers, wherever they are. They can assist our customers in many different ways, in a location chosen by them. These include full Financial Health Checks, opening personal accounts and discussing their short-term borrowing needs. This service can be accessed on a mobile or tablet, via a video connection.”
NatWest said it will be introducing a mobile branch service to both communities and will update customers with a new timetable in due course.
Customers can use Post Offices for some banking services.
TechXperts will offer training and support with digital skills and will serve the branches until they close and work in addition to branch staff.
NatWest also has community bakers that will serve the communities and surrounding areas after the branch closures. They will be able to work flexibly to support customers, including holding customer appointments in community locations and at customer homes where necessary.
Mayor Jon Hutchings feels that this is a sad time for NatWest Holsworthy and the Community. A meeting will be arranged to discuss this with NatWest Holsworthy Manager, and will ensure that he will keep the Community updated.