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NatWest explains where to find support as 43 branches close

The bank last week announced the closure of 43 branches, although bank managers say only six jobs will be cut. Many banks and building societies have closed high street branches over the past year as they have found many people prefer to do their banking online.

A letter to affected customers, seen by Express.co.uk this week, alerted them that their local NatWest outlet is to close.

Within the letter, a notice read: “Our colleagues in the branch are ready to answer any questions you may have.

“And we have dedicated Customer Support Specialists for anyone who needs a little more support. Simply call 0131 380 6528 (Relay UK 18001 0131 380 6528, International +44 131 380 6528).”

The branch closures are set to take place between January and March 2023.

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A NatWest spokesperson said previously: “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.”

NatWest currently has 744 branches across the country with the number set to decrease over the coming months.

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Dr Jackie Mulligan, the Government’s High Streets Task Force expert and founder of ShopAppy, spoke of her concerns about the most recent wave of bank branch closures.

She said: “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.

“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.”

NatWest said average counter transaction has fallen by two-thirds between January 2019 and January 2022, while transactions using the bank’s mobile app rose by 39 percent during the same period.

Some NatWest customers spoke out to oppose the branch closures. 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.”



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