Con­cern as banks close their doors

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE ROPER

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

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