Fri, 15 Dec 2017
THREE NatWest branches in West Berkshire are set to close next year.
Branches in Thatcham, Hungerford and Mortimer have been earmarked for closure as NatWest said it was adapting to “radical” changes in the way people banked.
Hungerford's branch is due to close on May 31 2018; Thatcham's on June 4; and Mortimer's on June 25.
Natwest said that the number of customers using branches across the UK had fallen by 40 per cent since 2014.
During the same period, mobile transactions have increased by 73 per cent.
And in the first half of 2017, there were 1.1 billion mobile and online transactions carried out by customers – a 41 per cent increase since 2014.
NatWest said that transactions in its Thatcham branch had reduced by 49 per cent since 2012, with only 34 customers visiting on a weekly basis.
It said that 67 per cent of customers were now banking digitally instead.
In Hungerford, transactions have reduced by 50 per cent since 2012, with now only 35 customers visiting the branch on a weekly basis.
And 62 per cent of customers were banking digitally instead.
In Mortimer, transactions have reduced by 53 per cent since 2012, with only 25 customers visiting the branch on a weekly basis and 63 per cent of customers banking digitally.
Customers will have to travel to the closest branch in Newbury, or Tilehurst for Mortimer, or conduct banking services at Post Office branches.
NatWest has also created a specialist TechXpert support team to train customers how to use online banking.
The bank’s impending closure follows HSBC shutting its branch in Thatcham Broadway last year.
Fears were raised at the time that Thatcham would become a ghost town if another bank closed.