NatWest bank to close Oakham branch in June 2017
NatWest Bank is to close its Oakham branch after the number of transactions there fell by around a quarter in five years.
The bank, at 44 High Street, will close its doors permanently on June 5 next year.
NatWest said the way people bank has changed radically in recent years. Between 2010 and 2015, mobile and online transactions have increased by 400 per cent.
The bank added that, since 2011, the number of transactions in the Oakham branch has declined by 23 per cent.
In the months leading up to the closure, a digital expert will be based at the branch and will offer training and support to customers.
Those would still like to visit a NatWest branch in person will be encouraged to use those in Melton or Stamford.
A NatWest customer, who asked not to be named, said he was shocked to receive a letter in the post announcing the closure.
He said: “I don’t like online banking because I don’t think it is as safe as people claim.
“We often hear in the news about major data thefts and that worries me.
“I use NatWest Oakham a lot and it always seems busy to me. I have never been walk straight up to the counter because there is always a queue.
“In future I’ll use Stamford or Melton, but not everyone has their own transport and buses around here are expensive and limited.”
NatWest said it is creating a new post of ‘community banker’ serving Oakham and surrounding areas to provide customers with personal assistance in the future.
A spokesman said: “We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers.
“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 can also be contacted by telephone 24 hours a day, online webchat and social media and customers can pay money in, take money out and check balances at Post Office branches.