Dinnington's NatWest bank set for the axe

Dinnington's NatWest bank set for the axe

The Laughton Road bank is one of 197 NatWest branches earmarked for closure by RBS, which will also slash 62 Royal Bank of Scotland branches.

Natwest is closing five branches in Norfolk.

"It shows the depth of RBS's lack of understanding of island circumstances that their email announcing the branch closure stated there are still "a number of free to use cash machines in your area", before listing cash machines some 27 miles away in South Uist, which people in Barra would have to take a ferry to use".

The redundancy programme will lead to about 680 redundancies and the RBS branch network is aiming to manage this process on a voluntary basis.

High street banks have been cutting swathes of branches over the last few years as customers move online.

These alternatives are set to include Community Bankers, Mobile Banks on Wheels and Post Offices, with the banking group stressing that "we're providing our customers with more ways to bank than ever before - they can choose from a range of digital to face-to-face options ... so that we can reach even more customers".

NatWest in Kingswinford
NatWest in Kingswinford

RBS said that since 2014 the number of customers using branches had fallen by 40% and mobile transactions had increased by 73%.

"We have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months; this has been done so that 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".

"The closure of another 259 branches is savage and represents a betrayal of loyal staff and customers who have supported the bank for decades".

RBS intends to help more people bank online by introducing TechXperts to teach people to use online services.

"Our community bankers will get to know the local community, engage with local groups and provide training and education on issues such as fraud and scams protection in the local area".

RBS ATMs don't need to be attached to an RBS branch and Post Offices also offer withdrawl and deposit services for most major United Kingdom banks.

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