RBS and NatWest banks are set to close more than 150 branches across the UK costing around 470 jobs.

The bank said that 30 RBS and 128 NatWest branches would be shut, they plan to close seven branches across North Staffordshire this year.

The local closures include NatWest branches in Stone, Burslem, Stoke, Trentham, Biddulph, Cheadle. and a smaller branch at Festival Park.

Stone customers will be forced to travel to bank in Hanley or Stafford. Natwest did say you can bank via The Post Office, but with The Co-Op to leave Stone High Street, will we even have a post office by then?

The Stone branch is due for closure in October. NatWest have been contacting customers recently to give them six months to make alternative arrangements.

NatWest have blamed the move on a fall in customers using branches, due to major changes in the way people do their banking.

A NatWest spokesman said:

“The way people choose to bank with us has changed radically over the last few years. Between 2010 and 2015, mobile and online transactions have increased by over 400% and mobile transactions alone have increased by 1,350%. Since 2011 we have seen the number of transactions in branches decline. These customers are actively choosing to bank in different ways, with 59.0% of customers choosing to use our digital banking options.

We are communicating with our customers affected by the closures and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers. We have listened closely to feedback from local communities and extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closures to six months. This has been done 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 and provide 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.”

Do you bank at Natwest?  How will this affect you?