Bank to close Midhurst and Petworth branches

NatWest is closing several branches
NatWest is closing several branches

Natwest has announced it will close its branches in Midhurst and Petworth in June next year due to low numbers of customers.

The branches, in Rumbolds Hill in Midhurst and Market Square in Petworth, are to be replaced with a ‘community banker’ service.

It comes as part of a swathe of branch closures for the bank across the UK, including 16 in the South East.

In a statement released today, Natwest has said it will be providing help in the transition period to customers who have difficulties with internet banking.

The Midhurst branch is to close on June 13 2018, followed by the Petworth branch on June 19 2018, leaving the nearest branches in Petersfield and Chichester.

A Natwest spokesman said usage of branches had decreased since 2012, with 27 per cent fewer transactions at Midhurst and 18 per cent fewer at Petworth.

He said the branches currently served only 31 customers per week in Midhurst with 42 weekly customers in Petworth.

The statement read: “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.

“As part of this, our new community banker provides customers with personal assistance and support to access our non-cash services, as well as help with achieving their financial plans and goals – replicating many of the services available in our branches.

“Our community bankers will get to know the local community, engage with local groups and provide training and education on issues such as fraud and scams protection in the local area.

“We know that not all of our customers are comfortable or familiar with using online or mobile banking, so we have created a new specialist taskforce of NatWest TechXperts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills until the branch closes.”