NatWest has confirmed its latest move in transitioning its banking operations to a more online model. This involves the closure of 43 of its branches, however only six jobs are expected to be cut as part of the decision. In the last year, multiple banks and building societies have shut down high street branches in an attempt to move to more online banking.
A NatWest spokesperson said: “As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking, because it is 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.”
These closures are due to take place across the country sometime between January and March of 2023.
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- 18 Market Place, Henley-on-Thames
- Hightown, Sandbach
- 141 High Street, Stourbridge
- 49 High Street, Wetherby
- 5 Broad Street, Wokingham
- 2 Spring Gardens, Buxton
- York Street, Clitheroe
- 34 Southampton Road, Eastleigh
- 19 The Grove, Ilkley England
- 44 Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross
- 12 Station Road East, Oxted,
- 181 Darkes Lane, Potters Bar,
- 19 Market Street Shipley
- 68 Palmerston Road Southsea
- 37 High Street St. Neots
- 3 Cornmarket Thame
- Norfolk Square Glossop
- Corner of Alexandra & Sea View Street Cleethorpes
- 209 Ashley Road Parkstone
- 1 Market Place Devizes
- 49 High Street Uckfield
- 93 London Road Waterlooville
- 130 High Street Tonbridge England
- 71 Lowther Street, Whiteheaven
- 1 Courthouse Square, Dundee
- 214 High Holborn, London
- 21 St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough
- 11 High Street, Lewes
- 208 Lower Blandford Road, Broadstone
- 19 Miller Road, Ayr
- 209 Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon
- 262 Union Street, Aberdeen
- 118 Walsgrave Road, Coventry
- 128 Balham Road, London
- 109 George Street, Edinburgh
- 19 High Road, Beeston
- 119 High Street, Berkhamstead
- 151 Bath Road, Cheltenham
- 14 Blythswood Square, Glasgow
- 124 High Street, Bromsgrove
- 1 Croydon Road, Caterham
- 34 High Street, Cheadle
- 91 London Road,
Dr Jackie Mulligan, the Government’s High Streets Task Force expert and founder of ShopAppy, shared her concerns about the most recent wave of branches shutting down.
She explained: “This is such disappointing news from a bank that has always been part of the UK’s high streets and has championed the small businesses that trade on them.
“Their ‘Tomorrow Begins Today’ advertising slogan feels a little bit redundant now. For most small businesses in town centres, this will put a lot more uncertainty into their tomorrows.
“Banks provide services and employment in communities, which drives footfall and custom to our much loved high streets across the country.
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“Tomorrow for NatWest feels like a virtual one now and that will be a blow to many small high street businesses at a time when they least need more uncertainty.”
As it stands, NatWest has 744 branches based across the country but this will be reduced within the next 12 months.
According to the bank, the average counter transaction has fallen by two-thirds between January 2019 and January 2022.
At the same time, NatWest saw that transactions using the bank’s mobile app rose by 39 percent during the same period.
Some NatWest customers were less than pleased with the announcement, taking to Twitter to share their opinions.
One user, @oxtedbird, said: “Banks could be innovative and share a building on a high street.
“Find solutions which serve your customers, not create more vulnerabilities and isolation. Frauds and scams will increase. Your branch staff protect many customers.”
A social media representative from NatWest replied: “I do understand your concerns with this and I know branch closures won’t suit everyone’s needs.
“We do offer a range of ways to bank, as we want to make this easy for all customers. You can certainly raise this feedback with our team.”