NatWest has announced that it will close its branch in Emsworth, leaving the town without a bank.
The ‘difficult decision’ was announced today, December 1, 2016, and the branch in the high street will close on June 7, 2017.
NatWest had been the final bank branch left in the Emsworth after three others closed within a 12 months in 2014.
In a statement Natwest said the ‘difficult decision’ reflected the number of people now using mobile and online banking, which has soared by 400 per cent between 2010-2015.
“As a result of this change, we have seen the number of transactions in Emsworth branch declining by 31 per cent since 2011 and 52 per cent of the customers of the branch are actively choosing to use online and or mobile banking for their day to day banking needs,” a NatWest spokesman said.
“We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers.”
Emsworth had four banks before Barclays, Lloyds and Nationwide all closed, and the closure of NatWest next year will leave residents without a bank.
“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,” the spokesman said.
“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 digital experts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills.”
NatWest said its customers could use Emsworth’s Post Office to make transactions, and said there are three free-to-use ATMS within a mile of the closing branch.
The nearest NatWest branch will be Havant, which is 2.37 miles away.
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