Natwest bank closure plan criticised

Eastwood Mayor Keith Longdon pictured outside NAT West Bank which is due to close
Eastwood Mayor Keith Longdon pictured outside NAT West Bank which is due to close

The decision to close a bank on the Eastwood’s high street has been slammed by politicians in the town.

Eastwood MP Gloria de Piero has criticised the decision to close a branch of Natwest bank, in Nottingham Road, in September – describing the decision as a ‘blow’ for the town.

Natwest said the branch will close due to more customers choosing to bank online, but Ms De Piero said the plan does not take into account many older people in Eastwood who prefer to deal with staff face-to-face.

She said:“This is a blow to the high street in Eastwood and will hit many older people hard because it is older people who tend not to use online banking.

“I use the Eastwood branch myself and it is always quite busy.

“The nearest branch will be a bus trip away once this branch closes, giving people another reason not to visit our towns and shop locally.”

The bank will close on September 21.

Eastwood Town Mayor Keith Longdon also criticised the planned closure.

He said: “It’s disappointing because we do use the bank and it always seems to be very, very busy.

“We are dead against it. People will be forced to go all the way to Beeston if they want to pay in cash.”

Dale Bihari, media campaigns manager at Natwest, said: “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.”

He added that the banking giant has ‘created a specialist taskforce’ of staff who will help educate customers who are unfamiliar with using online banking.

Between 2010 and 2015, mobile and online transactions increased by more than 400 per cent, Natwest said.

Another Natwest branch in kirkby-in-Ashfield is also set to close.