Please find below a statement by way of the reply I have received in respect of the above from the Nat West Chief Officer for Leeds & Bradford as a result of me complaining about the closure of the Adel and Otley branches.
“We have taken the difficult decision to close the NatWest Adel Leeds branch on 27th September 2017.
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% and mobile transactions alone have increased by 1,350%. Since 2011 we have seen the number of transactions in the Adel Leeds branch decline by 28%. These customers are actively choosing to bank in different ways, with 67.7% 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.
We know that not all of our customers are comfortable and familiar with using online or mobile banking, so we have created a new specialist taskforce of NatWest TechXperts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills.
We are following the Access to Banking protocol and we have made the decision after careful consideration of a wide range of factors, including regular branch usage and the alternative ways our customers can bank with us. We provide a range of alternative ways to bank, tailored to the needs of our customers and reflective of the way they live their lives. These include:
- Online and mobile: we are committed to educating customers on how to use these channels securely and simply.
- Telephony: our customers can contact us over the phone, via web-chat and social media. Our contact centres are open 24/7 and teams are trained to answer almost every query at first point of contact. Services available over the phone range from transfers and payments to opening new accounts, financial reviews and support with using digital banking.
- Post Office: We have a national agreement with the Post Office to provide our customers with a range of banking services. Customers can pay money in, take money out, check balances and business customers can get coinage. The closest Post Office is 0.19 miles away from the branch; there are 18 Post Offices within 3 miles of the branch.
- ATMs: There are 10 free to use ATMs within 1 mile of the branch.
- Digital TechXpert: *a new role*, our experts will offer training and support with digital skills, serving the branch until it closes.
- Other branches: Our nearest branch, Headingley, is 2.7 miles away. I hope I have managed to explain the reasons for the closure and the mitigating actions that we are taking.”