Staveley NatWest is in its dying days

Concerns have been raised ahead of the imminent closure of Staveley's NatWest bank.

Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 2:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 3:00 pm
Mr Perkins with Keith Bannister, right, the owner of Tilly's Tavern and Harley's Bar in Staveley, and Tony Kay, from Kay's Carpets in the town, with a 900-name petition against the closure of NatWest.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins chaired a meeting which was attended by residents, business owners and representatives from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which owns NatWest.

The branch on High Street is to shut next Thursday - amid a big increase in the number of people doing their banking digitally.

Mr Perkins said: "Sadly, the battle to save this branch appears to be over and the decision is final.

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"As one local business owners said at the meeting, this feels like 'one branch closure too far'.

"I share the concerns raised at the meeting regarding the potential impact the closure will have on local businesses and the difficulties it will create for customers who are not confident with online banking.

"I am pleased that RBS agreed to this meeting so that they can take the passionate and frank views of my constituents back to the senior managers making these decisions.

"The Staveley branch still has a high customer turnover and is still seen as a hub of the community, with customers coming from Bolsover, Eckington and other villages.

"It is increasing footfall into Staveley and providing customers for other town centre businesses."

Customers will still be able to deposit and withdraw money at Staveley Post Office and a mobile bank will visit the area once a week where customers will be able to deposit larger sums and complete other banking, such as transfers.

Jane Solomon, NatWest local CEO, said: "We are very grateful to Toby for arranging the meeting last week.

"We know how much the branch means to customers and the local community and did not take this decision lightly - it was as a result of a long-term change in the way our customers are banking with us and after careful consideration.

"While we will not be reversing our decision, our local team - including our TechXperts - are committed to supporting our customers with the full range of options so they can continue to bank locally in the way that suits them best."

Mr Perkins added: "The growth in online banking has understandably led to some branches closing but it appears that the ease of use of online banking for some customers has come at the cost of branch closures for the rest.

"While I appreciate the efforts NatWest continue to make to help all customers go online, I am hugely disappointed that this busy branch will close.

"I will also be seeking assurances from the Post Office that they will be able to cope with the added footfall."

When the branch closure was announced in March, a spokesman for RBS 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."