Northumberland Heath's last bank is set to close
PUBLISHED: 16:38 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 16:38 01 December 2016
RBS announced its Natwest branch was closing
Erith and Thamesmead’s MP has branded the decision to close Northumberland Heath’s last remaining bank as ‘very bad news’.
Natwest on Bexley Road will close after the bank decided to close branches across the country, including another nine in Kent.
Labour MP Teresa Pearce said: “This is very bad news, NatWest is the last bank in town and is extremely busy.
“I have asked NatWest for more details on their rationale for closing this branch as it is very well used.
“The bank say there is a branch in Bexleyheath, but if Northumberland Heath closes there will be no NatWest in the north of the borough.”
According to the bank, a dramatic rise in the number of people using online and mobile banking was the driving factor for the cause.
A spokesperson for RBS, which owns NatWest, said: “As a result of this change, we have seen the number of transactions in Northumberland Heath branch decline by 41 per cent since 2011. 62 per cent of the branch’s customers are actively choosing to use online and or mobile banking for their day to day banking needs.”
“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 digital experts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills.