CUSTOMERS hoping to use the NatWest mobile banking van in Berkeley are in for a long wait.

Following the failure of the van to turn up for its last three scheduled visits, the bank has revealed the service is experiencing operational difficulties and that mobile provision will not resume until the new year.

The mobile bank had been visiting Berkeley for two hours every other Thursday following the closure of the town’s branch in 2015.

However, it didn’t turn up for its past three expected visits.

Customers were not notified that it would not be coming and so waited outside for its arrival.

Berkeley town councillor Liz Ashton was not impressed.

She said: “A few years ago, I led a campaign to keep the Nat West Bank in Berkeley open. Despite huge support, the bank closed anyway.

“The only concession we could get from them was the promise of a weekly visit from a mobile branch.

“Since the lockdown, this has been reduced to fortnightly visits.

“However, for the past three expected dates, the bank has failed to arrive.

“Regular customers were not been informed that the bank wasn’t coming so they waited round for ages in vain.

“If it was the case that staff had Covid or other illness, customers would be sympathetic, but the failure to notify them or apologise is unacceptable.”

Since then, the bank has apologised, but has also announced that its mobile van will not be visiting the town before the end of the year. 

A spokesman for NatWest said: “There has been a temporary disruption in our ability to operate this route. 

“We apologise for this inconvenience and are working to rectify this and plan to re-open the route in the new year. 

“In the meantime we continue to offer customers a range of alternative ways to bank including at the local post office, through our online and mobile app.”

He also said it would be possible for the bank to deliver cash to some customers - “Through our dedicated support line customers are able to get cash delivered to their home address.”

He added: “We have a dedicated support line for customers who are over 60 or are in a period of extended isolation. It’s managed by a dedicated team of customer care experts and is open 8am – 8pm, seven days a week. Call 0800 051 4177.”