23 Jul NatWest to close bank branches in Norfolk Broads villages
Two Broads communities are the latest to be hit by a wave of Norfolk bank closures.
NatWest is to shut up shop in Hoveton and Stalham by the end of the year, on December 2 and December 3 respectively.
The news is a double blow for Stalham which is already preparing to lose its only other bank, Barclays, on September 25.
Its plight is echoed in Reepham where HSBC announced that it was closing in October, leaving that community without a bank too.
Barclays had earlier announced that it would be shutting its branches in Long Stratton, Norfolk, on September 18, and in Bungay, Suffolk, on October 23.
Nigel Dixon, Norfolk County Council representative for Stalham and Hoveton, said he was “deeply disappointed and concerned” about the closures.
“The impact is going to be felt much more by the over-60s who either don’t have access to online or telephone banking, or don’t trust its security, and they are a large part of our vulnerable society,” Mr Dixon added.
Natwest spokesman Sean Palmer said the number of transactions taking place at their Stalham High Street branch had dropped by 22pc since 2011 and only 61 customers used the branch on a regular weekly basis, 32 of whom already used other branches in the area.
At NatWest’s Hoveton branch, on Station Road, transactions had dropped by 11pc since 2011 and only 30 customers used the branch weekly, 18 of whom already used other branches in the area.
The Broads village still has HSBC and Barclays branches.
Chris Channell, for Barclays, said there had been a 44pc drop in the number of customers using their Stalham branch since 2008, and 70pc of customers now regularly used alternative branches.
Both NatWest and Barclays say they are taking steps to keep customers informed and to advise them.
Arrangements with local Post Offices have been made so that customers can check their balance, deposit and withdraw funds, and business customers can get coins.
NatWest is also introducing a mobile branch service and will be asking the community about the best day and times for it to visit.
Both NatWest and Barclays said staff affected by the closures would be moved to nearby branches.
This news story was provided by Great Yarmouth Mercury