Bank under fire over branch closure

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Bank bosses have been urged to reconsider the closure of one of its branches.

Coppull branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland will close on September 16, it was announced last Thursday.

A spokesman said: “We’re closing this branch because its number of transactions has reduced by 22 per cent since 2011 and only 71 people use the branch on a regular basis (weekly).

“Approximately one third of these customers already use other local branches.

“We are committed to following UK Government protocol on branch closures, and we have made the decision following careful consideration of a wide range of factors.

“Our customers are increasingly using alternative ways to bank with them such as online and mobile banking.

“As a result, branch transactions have declined by around 36 per cent since 2010 whilst online and mobile transactions have grown by more than 300 per cent.

“Only nine per cent of their total transactions are now undertaken in branches in comparison to 25 per cent in 2010.”

RBS said the branch’s customers could use the nearby Post Office to pay money in, take money out, check balances and get business coinage.

In addition, it said here are four free-to-use ATMs within one mile of the branch and that the Chorley branch is less than three miles away.

“We are writing to all our branch customers, as well as displaying posters in branch to let them know of the closure,” said the spokesperson.

“Between now and the closure date, we will engage with customers, businesses and the wider local community to make sure they are aware of the alternative ways of banking with us locally, and to answer any other questions.

Ward councillor Paul Clark has written to RBS CEO Ross McEwan urging him to reconsider the decision.

He said: “I think it’s a shame because at the end of the day we’ve got to think about elderly residents of Coppull.

“Not everybody has access to the internet and a car.

“The Royal Bank of Scotland may think it’s underused, but I think it’s a vital service.

“It’s disappointing news really and I’d like to know more about the justification for it and we’ve got to think about the job losses as well.

“It’s sad to see these things happening and it’s happening in a lot of banks across the country.”

Fellow ward councillor Rob Finnamore said: “It seems quite a loss to the village.

“I know a lot of people, particularly elderly residents in Coppull, do rely on that for their banking.

“It’s a shame to see.”