NatWest bank to close Con­course branch

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

NATWEST has an­nounced that it is clos­ing its Skelmers­dale branch in May 2018.

The bank con­firmed that it would close 197 branches, in­clud­ing the one in the Con­course shop­ping cen­tre.

The com­pany said that trans­ac­tions at the branch have dropped by 39% over the past five years and it is now used by only 97 cus­tomers each week.

The an­nounce­ment comes just a month af­ter the NatWest in Formby vil­lage was per­ma­nently closed.

Cus­tomers will now have to travel around five miles to reach their near­est branches in Orm­skirk or Wi­gan, though some ser­vices will be avail­able at the Post Of­fice.

West Lan­cashire MP Rosie Cooper hit out at the de­ci­sion and called on the coun­cil’s lead­er­ship to do more stop busi­nesses leav­ing the area.

She added: “This is dread­ful and very dis­ap­point­ing news for Skelmers­dale res­i­dents and for the staff at the branch whose fu­ture may be un­clear at this point.

“NatWest have pointed to de­clin­ing num­bers us­ing the branch and say that is a key rea­son for choos­ing to close the Skelmers­dale branch.

“What is so deeply dis­ap­point­ing is that this is another town cen­tre busi­ness which is shut­ting its doors, at a time when we are try­ing to push ahead with get­ting the new town cen­tre built. The new town cen­tre would bring in­creased foot­fall into the area and we might have seen a dif­fer­ent out­come with NatWest.

A NatWest spokes­woman said that it now of­fered more ways than ever for cus­tomers to bank, in­clud­ing on­line, video and and phone bank­ing.

The firm added that 63% of its cus­tomers now asked used dig­i­tal bank­ing ser­vices.

She said: “We are com­mu­ni­cat­ing with our cus­tomers af­fected by the clo­sure and proac­tively con­tact­ing vul­ner­a­ble cus­tomers and reg­u­lar branch users.”

She added: “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 branch closes.”

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