Petition started to keep Kenilworth's NatWest branch open

A petition has been started to keep Kenilworth's NatWest branch in Warwick Road open after the bank announced it would close on June 13 next year.

Tuesday, 13th December 2016, 12:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:58 pm
Natwest in Kenilworth will close next year. Copyright: Google Street View

The petition was created on Sunday December 11 by the Kenilworth and Southam Liberal Democrats, who felt many Kenilworth residents still relied on the branch and were worried that other banks in the street such as Lloyds, HSBC and Barclays might do the same.

Group member Richard Dickson said: “The real concern is will other banks follow NatWest’s lead?

“So we’ve started this petition to see whether they will reverse their decision or look at more creative options such as sharing premises with one of the other banks.

“The petition is the first step of saying ‘think again’ to NatWest - there’s support here for the branch and I know people use it. It’s always busy on a Saturday.

“They’ve got to cut costs but why should ordinary customers have to suffer?”

NatWest announced the decision to close the Kenilworth branch at the start of December.

They said fewer people were coming into the branch and far more were using online and mobile banking services.

Customers will still be able to pay money in, take money out and check their balance at Post Offices in the town and business customers will also be able to get coins from Post Offices.

This idea was met with scepticism by Richard. He added: “Customers will have to stand in their queues and there will be nobody there with product knowledge - it might be fine for transactions but not other things.”

At the time of the announcement at the start of December, a NatWest spokesman said: “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. This has been done in order to ensure our customers have time to consider the right banking options for them.

“We are committed to ensuring our customers and communities are able to continue accessing quality banking services.”

“As part of this, we have created a new role - our Community Banker - who will serve the local area, providing customers with personal assistance and support accessing the right banking options for their needs, as well as help with achieving their financial plans and goals.”

Anyone wishing to view or sign the petition should click here.