NatWest Rothwell closure: Leeds town set to lose last remaining bank this summer leaving residents 'gutted'

The last remaining bank in a Leeds town is set to close this summer, leaving local residents “gutted”.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.

Leon Parrish, 76, has been using the Rothwell NatWest bank for more than 30 years (Photo: Steve Riding)Leon Parrish, 76, has been using the Rothwell NatWest bank for more than 30 years (Photo: Steve Riding)
Leon Parrish, 76, has been using the Rothwell NatWest bank for more than 30 years (Photo: Steve Riding)

“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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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.

The bank will close on June 28 (Photo: Steve Riding)The bank will close on June 28 (Photo: Steve Riding)
The bank will close on June 28 (Photo: Steve Riding)

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.”