Customers’ anger as banks are shut

Campaigners Jim and Jane Chitty,LA1500010-1 SUS-150316-195743008
Campaigners Jim and Jane Chitty,LA1500010-1 SUS-150316-195743008

BANK bosses who shut two nearby branches have been accused of ignoring their customers.

The NatWest branch in Rose Green closed on Monday after the Barclays branch was locked up last Friday.

NatWest customers Jane and James Chitty, of Truro Crescent, were present as the door was closed for the final time. Mrs Chitty said the bank’s figures showed customer numbers at the branch at Avisford Terrace on Rose Green Road were 30 per higher than the national average.

Mrs Chitty, 60, had been using the branch since the mid-80s and a NatWest customer from 1976.

“We came here last Monday and there was a queue out of the door.

“Everyone was asking why they were closing the branch.

“What business ignores its customers and passes up the opportunity to potentially double its customer base overnight from Barclays and even tells its customers to go to a rival – the Post Office backed by the Bank of Ireland? They must have closed for other reasons. We have no idea what that means other than the bank needs to save money anywhere, regardless of the requirements of its customers.”

The branch had been open 10am-2.30pm weekdays except Wednesdays.

Customers of the Barclays branch were met by a locked door last Friday lunchtime. It had been open 9.30am-4.30pm weekdays.

John Bass, founder of Willowhale Farm Residents’ Association, had banked in the Nyetimber Lane branch since it opened in 1972.

He said: “We can’t understand why Barclays and NatWest didn’t get together and share facilities. People were resigned to Barclays going in one respect but very angry they will have to go to Bognor Regis or Chichester for their banking.

“A lot of people think it’s the end of an era.

“We do understand a lot of people bank online but there are quite a lot who want face-to-face banking.”

Mr Bass said many people feared the sight of two empty premises would affect the other businesses.