A Tarporley bank is to close its doors next summer, leaving some residents with a journey of almost nine miles to their nearest branch.
NatWest has confirmed it will shut the doors on its High Street branch in Tarporley on June 6 as part of a raft of closures across the country, brought about because more and more customers now manage their finances online.
The bank, which is part of Government-owned RBS, said it was a ‘difficult decision’.
The closure has been criticised by local councillor Eveleigh Moore Dutton, herself a customer of NatWest, who said: “I understand they’re in difficulty but I believe keeping the branch open would be a solution to their problem.
"I feel it’s been an easy step to take, but not the right one.
“We may be going in to branches on fewer occasions but it is very helpful to have a local branch in the community if we need one.
“It’s very inconvenient to go into Chester just to do your banking.
“It’s a very regrettable step and I am very disappointed.”
As part of its plans to close the branch, NatWest will introduce a new ‘community banker’ who will serve the local area, providing customers with personal assistance and support to access the right banking options for their needs.
New ‘digital experts’ will also be introduced until June next year who will offer digital support and training to help customers use online or mobile banking.
NatWest said in a letter to customers: “We have taken the difficult decision to close the Tarporley branch on 6th June 2017.
“Between 2010 and 2015, mobile and online transactions have increased by over 400 per cent and mobile transactions alone have increased by 1,350 per cent.
“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."
Following the closure, the nearest branch will be the one in Winsford, almost nine miles away.
Customers will also be able to access services by telephone, social media and will be able to withdraw money, pay money in and check balances from the Post Office, less than a mile from the branch.
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