Anger at NatWest's decision to axe Wotton-under-Edge branch

Gazette Series: Anger at Natwest's decision to axe Wotton-under-Edge branch Anger at Natwest's decision to axe Wotton-under-Edge branch

WOTTON will lose a key High Street service when NatWest departs from the town.

The Wotton-under-Edge branch will be closing its doors for good at the end of February, blaming declining custom for the closure.

A spokesman for NatWest said: "More and more of our customers are using alternative ways to bank with us, such as online and telephone banking, or using their mobile phone.

“As a result we’ve seen the number of people using the branch fall significantly over the last few years and we’ve made the difficult decision to close the Wotton-under-Edge branch on February 26, 2014.

"We’ve advised staff and we’re writing to our customers to make them aware of the different ways they can bank with us."

Mayor of Wotton Roger Claydon said the town council was aware of the impending closure.

“Obviously we would prefer to see it stay open,” he said. “I think the hours had gone down in recent years, that doesn’t help people.

“People who have been customers there are having to make other arrangements.”

In 2011 the bank cut its opening hours down to three part-days a week from five full days.

Wotton Chamber of Trade spokesman Trevor Mason said the move would upset a huge number of the town’s traders, many of whom had complained about the delays in cheques clearing with the reduced opening hours.

Recently re-elected president of the Chamber, Alex Wilkinson, said the closure was a poor show.

"It's a pretty disgraceful state of affairs," he said. "It's been on the cards for some time but they never said they would close it.

"We did canvass them to stay open but they wouldn't."

Customers who require in-branch services will now be forced to travel to Dursley or Thornbury for their banking.

NatWest, who promote their services as ‘helpful banking,’ said customers could use other branches as well as the mobile phone app, online and telephone banking.

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