Concern as banks close their doors
COMMUNITY leaders have spoken out against the decision to close three banks.
From August customers will no longer be able to use the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on Park Green, the Natwest in Prestbury, or the RBS in Kettleshulme.
The banks’ closure will also mean the loss of 11 jobs at RBS, however there will be no redundancies at Prestbury with staff redeployed to other branches.
Coun Beverley Dooley, who represents Macclesfield Central Ward, said the closure at Park Green will lead to yet another empty property.
She said: “Yet again we are having to report a clo- sure on the high street. This bank goes back to the time of Williams and Glyn’s in the previous century. Old people like to use cash and will now have to walk the whole length of Mill Street and Chestergate to get to the other RBS. I hope the banks consider our ageing population who might not be able to bank online.
“Town centres are a social hub and when your hearing is not what it used to be, using call centres exacerbates the problem.”
David Rutley, MP for Macclesfield, has asked for job reassurances from both banks.
He said: “This decision is also a spur to redouble efforts to regenerate Macclesfield’s Silk Quarter and to conserve Prestbury’s rich heritage. They are important priorities in both communities.”
Arthur Dicken, chairman of Prestbury Parish Council, said he was ‘shocked’ at the closure of Natwest, which is housed in a Grade II listed building, and said empty shops won’t help and the council attract new businesses.
He said: “The bank says the closure is because very few customers use the branch, but two counters are busy every morning.
“We are very concerned for the future of this iconic building if the bank leaves.”
A spokeswoman for Natwest said the bank will close on August 24.
She said: “We are working hard to ensure there are a number of alternative ways for people in the area to continue to bank with us.
“We’re closing this branch because the number of transactions taking place has dropped by 24 per cent since 2011 and only 27 customers use the branch on a regular weekly basis.”
An RBS spokeswoman said they are consulting with staff. She said: “We always aim to redeploy staff to nearby branches where possible and to keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum.”
●● Arthur Dicken, MP David Rutley and Coun Paul Findlow outside the Natwest branch in Prestbury