The Changing Landscape of Banking: Natwest Closes 18 More Branches

Natwest Bank October Closures: Natwest Continues Downsizing

In a significant development, Natwest Bank is set to permanently close 18 of its branches this month, with several of them shutting their doors in just a matter of hours. This move is part of Natwest’s ongoing effort to adapt to changing customer preferences and increasing reliance on digital banking services. With these closures, the total number of branches shuttered by Natwest in the UK this year will reach a staggering 126.

Yesterday, branches in Southampton and Sidcup, located in the south-eastern part of London, were closed for the last time. Today, the branches in Woodley, Berkshire, and Southgate, North London, are also set to cease operations.

Digital Transformation and Branch Closures

The trend of bank branches closing down has been a consistent one in recent years as more customers embrace the convenience of online banking. The shift towards digital banking services has accelerated, making it a preferred choice for the majority of consumers. This transition has led banks like Natwest to reevaluate their physical branch network.

Here is the complete list of the latest Natwest branch closures:

  • Natwest, Southgate, October 5
  • Natwest, Woodley, October 5
  • Natwest, Stanmore, October 10
  • Natwest, Tiverton, October 10
  • Natwest, Parkhouse Industrial Estate, October 11
  • Natwest, London, October 11
  • Natwest, Beckton, October 12
  • Natwest, Weybridge, October 12
  • Natwest, Wickersley, October 17
  • Natwest, Prestwich, October 18
  • Natwest, Tavistock, October 18
  • Natwest, Alton, October 19
  • Natwest, Exmouth, October 19
  • Natwest, Norwich, October 31
  • Natwest, Wanstead, October 31
  • Natwest, Leicester, November 2
  • Natwest, Camborne, November 7
  • Natwest, Plymouth, November 7
  • Natwest, Colchester, November 7
  • Natwest, Ipswich, November 8
  • Natwest, Shotton, November 9
  • Natwest, London, November 9
  • RBS, Dingwall, November 1
  • RBS, Dundee, November 2

Additionally, two more Natwest branches are scheduled to close in July next year: one in Stalybridge and another in West Kirby.

Natwest’s Commitment to Customer Needs

A spokesperson for Natwest emphasized the bank’s commitment to supporting customers during this transition. They acknowledged that while digital solutions are preferred by most, they are not suitable for everyone or every situation. Natwest is investing in providing support and alternatives to ensure that no one is left behind in this era of digital banking.

Even before the recent closures, it’s worth noting that by the end of 2023, The Natwest Group, which includes Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Ulster Bank, will have closed a total of 1,299 branches, according to the consumer advocacy organization Which?.

Exploring Alternatives When Your Bank Branch Closes

As the reliance on online banking grows, many bank branches are closing down. However, this can be a concern for those without internet access, particularly the elderly, who rely on physical branches. If you find yourself in such a situation, there are several options to consider:

  1. Utilize the Post Office: The Post Office has 11,635 branches across the UK where you can carry out most banking tasks. However, opening new accounts or applying for personal loans and mortgages may not be possible at these locations.
  2. Mobile Banking Services: Many banks offer mobile banking services through dedicated buses that visit local areas, providing the same services as a traditional branch. Contact your bank or building society to find out when the next banking bus will be near you.
  3. Community-Based Banking: Some banks use community spaces like village halls or libraries to offer mobile banking services, ensuring accessibility in rural areas.
  4. Banking Hubs: Various locations across the UK have established banking hubs that offer shared traditional banking services. New banking hubs have been set up in places such as Downham Market (Norfolk), Shirebrook (Derbyshire), Otley (West Yorkshire), Sidmouth (Devon), Newton Aycliffe (County Durham), Porthcawl (Bridgend), Withernsea (East Yorkshire), and Wellington (Somerset). Additionally, there are already existing hubs in Brixham, Cambuslang, Cottingham, and Rochford.

As the banking landscape continues to evolve, exploring these alternative options can help ensure that you have access to essential financial services, even if your local bank branch closes its doors.

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