West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has met with Natwest Directors to discuss the impending closure of their Skelmersdale branch.
Natwest announced before Christmas it was to shut nearly 200 of its branches nationwide including its Skelmersdale operation.
Some residents and customers, including pensioners and disabled persons were initially fearful for their options with their local bank closing.
MP Rosie raised these concerns with Natwest when the closure was announced and has been assured that customers are being supported through a variety of means.
Natwest also decided to increase their usual notice period from three months to six months, meaning the Skelmersdale branch won’t close until 22nd May.
The branch has already began to support customers through the transition, creating a new specialist taskforce of Natwest TechXperts dedicated to providing customers with digital skills for those who wish to move to online banking.
For those wishing to continue banking face-to-face, Natwest have signed a contract where by everyday banking transactions including balance checks, cash and cheque deposits, cash withdrawals and even businesses obtaining coinage can all be done via the local Post Office.
Rosie was pleased to hear about Natwest staff’s proactive approach to supporting vulnerable customers and regular branch users. She said:
“I said previously that the closure of the Natwest branch in Skelmersdale is another blow for the town, and it is very disappointing, but I was pleased to hear from their Directors of the many initiatives being undertaken to minimise its impact on customers.
“I was given examples of where Skelmersdale’s Local CEO Jenna Holt and other staff have walked customers from the branch to the Post Office and introduced them to the staff there, so that they could have easy access to their money through the Post Office.
“While the loss of this branch will be a big change for customers and the staff, customers could benefit from the longer opening hours provided by the Post Office, including weekends.
“I would like to thank the Natwest Directors and Ms Holt for meeting with me, taking on board the concerns of my constituents and working to ensure as little disruption as possible.”
Pictured: Jenna Holt, Local CEO, Chris Lawrenson, Director of Business Banking, Craig Wood, Regional Director for Personal Banking, Rosie Cooper MP
Local CEO Jenna Holt said:
“I was delighted to have an opportunity to meet with Rosie to discuss the closure of the Skelmersdale branch and to highlight all of the alternative ways our customers can bank with us.
“We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable customers and regular branch users. We have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months; this has been done so that we can ensure our customers have enough time to consider the right banking options for them and to give us time to support them one-to-one during the transition.
“I would urge any customer who has concerns or needs help with their banking to get in touch with my team and I at the branch.”