I recently met with NatWest to discuss their decision to close the local branch in Southgate. The branch is set to close on 5 October and I raised concerns about the impact this will have on regular customers, including elderly and vulnerable people in our community who rely on face-to-face banking services.
As we know, across the UK, the number of bank and building society branches has decreased by over a third since 2012. Locally, we have seen similar trends, with Nationwide, HSBC, Barclays, and Santander closing local branches in recent years.
According to NatWest, transactions at the Southgate branch have reduced by 61% with only 5 customers now visiting NatWest in Southgate on a regular weekly basis.
While of course the way many of us bank has changed over time, I do think we have an important duty to support those who haven’t yet moved to online banking. We have to maintain an easy-access and free-to-use cash network, as well as face-to-face banking services, as we do not want to see people cut off from full participation in society, unable to access goods and services. I am therefore pleased that the Palmers Green branch of NatWest will remain open to customers.
On 14 September, NatWest will be hosting a drop-in session at the Southgate branch. This will provide customers the opportunity to ask questions about the branch closure and receive one on one support based on their individual needs. The local postmaster from the Post Office will also be in attendance.
You can find more information about this event below and I would encourage any constituents impacted to attend.