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Hunstanton set to lose its NatWest

NatWest on High Street, Haverhill'''PICTURE: Mecha Morton
NatWest on High Street, Haverhill'''PICTURE: Mecha Morton

The Hunstanton branch of NatWest is set to close next year after the company revealed there had been “dramatic changes” in the way customers bank nationally.

NatWest’s parent company, the Royal Bank of Scotland group, announced plans to close 259 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest branches last week, including the bank at Northgate, which is set to close on June 20, 2018.

According to NatWest’s statistics, the number of customers using its branches (including RBS and Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland) is down 40 per cent since 2014.

A statement on the bank’s website said: “More and more people are choosing to do their banking online, with our Mobile Banking app, or over the phone.

“It’s more convenient to do it at a time and place that suits you, rather than come into branch.

“This means some branches are being used a lot less than they used to be.”

Following the closure next year, customers will still be able to use in-branch services in Lynn, Fakenham and Wisbech as their nearest places to bank.

A spokesman for NatWest said: “Closing a branch is a decision we take very seriously. Abroad range of local factors are considered and contribute to our decision-making process.”

How customers are choosing to bank, how often customers are using the branch and what transactions they are doing, the impact on customers who currently use the branch, other available options, the proximity to other branches, and local transport routes and timetables are all considered before taking the decision to close a branch, he added.

Customers will still be able to use mobile branches as well as Post Offices which also offer some banking services.

The news came after the Downham branch of Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) building society closed its doors for good on Friday, following an announcement by parent company the Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) earlier in the year.

The Fakenham branch of N&P was also closed on November 10, but the bank still has branches in Lynn and Swaffham which will be re-branded to YBS in May next year.

The closure of N&P in Downham means that there are no longer any building society branches in town, and only two bank branches, after Nationwide, NatWest and HSBC all left the town in recent years.

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