Campaign to save bank in Staveley

Keith Bannister, right, the owner of Tillys Bar and Harley's Bar in Staveley and Tony Kay from Kay's Carpets with a 600 name petition against the closure of the town's NatWest branch.
Keith Bannister, right, the owner of Tillys Bar and Harley's Bar in Staveley and Tony Kay from Kay's Carpets with a 600 name petition against the closure of the town's NatWest branch.

Business owners are campaigning to save Staveley’s NatWest branch.

The bank is due to close on September 28 as part of 158 closures across the country.

A petition has now been launched by pub owner Keith Bannister.

“I have been in Staveley for about 14 years and I have slowly, slowly seen it go down hill,” Mr Bannister, 64, told the Derbyshire Times.

“A bank is a community asset value.

“I understand that times are changing and perhaps there are too many banks but it is a very, very busy branch.”

The bank closures were announced in March.

Hundreds of jobs are thought to be at risk at the branches across the country.

Mr Bannister, who owns Harleys bar on Market Place and Tilly’s Tavern on High Street, added: “The people who are making these decisions do not live around here.

“When people come to Staveley to use the bank they also use the other shops and pubs.

“There are a lot of people who come from surrounding areas to Staveley because other branches have been closed.

“All of these potential shoppers are going to go.

“I am very angry about it.”

Mr Bannister set-up a paper petition because he wanted to prove a point that not everything has to be done online.

The petition has received hundreds of signatures from businesses, residents and visitors to the town.

He has also erected a banner at Tilly’s Tavern, which is located next to the NatWest branch.

“Sometimes the personal touch you get in a bank is a lot better than doing it online,” Mr Bannister said.

“There is no consideration for the hardship they are going to cause to customers.

NatWest said the decision was made because of the way people choose to do their banking.

A spokesman said: “The way people choose to bank with us has changed radically over the last few years.

“Between 2010 and 2015, mobile and online transactions have increased by over 400 per cent and mobile transactions alone have increased by 1,350 per cent. These customers are actively choosing to bank in different ways, with 59.1 per cent of customers choosing to use our digital banking options.

“We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers.

“We have listened closely to feedback from local communities and have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months. This has been done in order to ensure our customers have time to consider the right banking options for them.”

n What do you think? Do you still use the Staveley branch? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.