NatWest to close Saffron Walden branch because now only 48 customers a week use it.

PUBLISHED: 11:17 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 05 December 2017

NatWest

NatWest

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The NatWest Bank is to close its branch in Saffron Walden because customers don't use it.

The doors will shut at the branch in Market Row on June 18 next year, the company has announced because 88 per cent of NatWest customers in the town bank without going into the branch. Only 48 people visit the branch each week.

The number of people going into the bank had fallen, by 40 per cent across the UK, since 2014, the company said and in that period, mobile transactions (internet banking) had increased by 73 per cent.

In a statement, the bank said: “We provide our customers with more ways to bank than ever before. Customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options. The way people bank with us has changed radically over the last few years. In the first half of 2017, there were 1.1 billion mobile and online transactions carried out by our customers: an increase of 41 per cent since 2014.”

It added: “Since 2012, we have seen the way people use NatWest Saffron Walden branch change dramatically. Now 88 per cent of customers bank in other ways locally. Transactions in NatWest Saffron Walden branch have reduced by 46 per cent since 2012 with now only 48 customers visiting the branch on a weekly basis. Some 61 per cent of customers are now choosing to bank digitally with us on a regular basis instead.”

The NatWest says is it communicating with our customers affected by the closure, especially those who are vulnerable people and regular branch users.

“We have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months. This has been done so we can ensure our customers have enough time to consider the right banking options for them and to give us time to support them one-to-one during the transition.

“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.”

Two staff are based in the branch, but work on a rotating basis so may work in other branches as well.

A NatWest spokeswoman added: We realise this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected. We will ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to an absolute minimum.”

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