Bank branches to close doors

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Staff at two NatWest branches are facing an uncertain future after the bank announced that they are set to close their doors to the public.

The bank said it intends to shut the Nottingham Road branch in Ripley and the King Street site in Belper, as part of a nationwide plan to close 158 branches.

NatWest has said the closures were a ‘difficult decision’, but were a result of the change to people’s banking habits.

In a statement from the bank, figures show an increase of more than 400 per cent in mobile and online transactions from 2010 to 2015.

And since 2011, there has been a decline in the number of transactions at both the branches – 22 per cent at Ripley, and 71 per cent in Belper.

These customers are choosing to bank in different ways, such as the various digital banking options.

A spokesman for NatWest said: “We have made the decision after careful consideration of a wide range of factors, including regular branch usage and the alternative ways our customers can bank with us.

“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.

“We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers.

“We have listened closely to feedback from local communities and have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months. This has been done in order to ensure our customers have time to consider the right banking options for them.

“We know that not all of our customers are comfortable and 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.

“We have a national agreement with the Post Office to provide our customers with a range of banking services. Customers can pay money in, take money out, check balances and business customers can get coinage.”

It said that alternatively, NatWest customers can go to existing branches in Alfreton, Clay Cross and St Peter’s Street in Derby.

There are 13 free to use ATMs within a mile of the King Street branch and 14 within a mile of the Nottingham Road NatWest.

The Ripley branch is set to close on October 3, while Belper will shut on September 26.

Will you be sad to see them closed or do you now bank online? Let us know your thoughts to editor@belpernews.co.uk.