NatWest Rothwell closure: Leeds town set to lose last remaining bank this summer leaving residents 'gutted'
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NatWest will close its Rothwell branch, in Jail Yard Parade, on June 28. According to the bank, personal transactions at the branch dropped by 50% from January 2019 to January 2022, with just 19 customers regularly visiting the branch in 2021.
But the closure will mean there is just one building society left in the town - and no banks left for residents. NatWest customers are being directed to the nearest branch more than seven miles away in Cross Gates.
Leon Parrish, who lives in the town, has been using the branch almost every week for the last 30 years. The 76-year-old told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I was a little bit annoyed, as well as being gutted.
“It says in the window that people can go up to Cross Gates. But how can a pensioner in a wheelchair or a walking stick do that? They don’t have vehicles, so what are they going to do? It’s miles away for them. We need a bank in Rothwell.”
The Rothwell branch is one of dozens being closed by NatWest across the UK this year. In a closure factsheet, the bank said closing a branch is “always difficult” and something it “never takes lightly”.
It found that average counter transactions reduced by 64% across the UK between January 2019 and January 2022, while the number of customers using mobile apps increased by 38% during the same period. It added it offers support for customers who struggle with online banking.
Customers can also access banking services at Rothwell’s Post Office, but Leon is worried about the knock-on effect it will have on queues.
He added: “Old people don’t want to know about all this modern technology. It’s alright for the young ones, they get on with it, but we want to pay by cash everywhere we go. Online banking is pointless to us, we just want to carry on as normal - we like the life that we’ve had. It’s changing so fast. Too fast for us.
“My message to NatWest bank is to listen to the people of Rothwell. Stay open.”