Anger over plans to close Flint bank

Reporter:

Rachel Roberts

CUSTOMERS have expressed their anger over plans to close a bank in Flintshire.

The well-established Flint branch of NatWest bank, part of the RBS group, is to close.

However the company has given assurances there will be no job losses as a result of the closure with staff being redeployed to other branches.

Bank customer Sian Davies, 54, from Flint, said: “I went to the bank last Friday to draw some money out and there were signs up saying the branch would be closing in March, 2013.

“I’ve been a customer there for 34 years and they haven’t even sent me a notification through the post out of courtesy.

“I’ve always been very happy with the service they’ve provided so it’s come as a shock. If I want to keep banking in my home town, I will have to change banks. I understand cuts have to be made but the branch doesn’t appear to be underused in any way – it’s always busy. In fact, I would have complained last Friday if it wasn’t so busy,” she added.

Flint Cllr Ian Roberts said: “There has been a banking presence at that spot for many years. To expect people to travel six miles to the next nearest branches in Deeside and Holywell, sometimes simply to pay a cheque in, is frankly laughable.”

His colleague, Cllr Alex Aldridge, said: “The closure will be a huge blow for the people who’ve patronised the bank for years as it’s the loss of a facility at the pivotal part of the town.

“I have been using my own bank for the last 50 years and I would hate to lose it.
“Every Flint mayor has used the NatWest to bank money we have raised for charity.”

A RBS spokesman said: “Customer demand has fallen sharply at our Flint branch over the last 12 months and we have taken the difficult decision to close it in 2013. We have advised staff and will be helping our customers to make alternative arrangements.

“We also have a range of other options our customers can use to access their accounts. These include our NatWest mobile phone applications, online and telephone banking services and the use of any Post Office to pay bills, withdraw cash and check balances.”

The Flint branch is classed as a satellite, or sub-branch, to a main branch. It means it shares the same sort code as the main branch and the company stated it was not feasible to write to every customer under that sort code to tell them the Flint branch was closing. However, any customer who had conducted a transaction in the last 12 weeks at the Flint branch were informed of the closure in writing.

See full story in the Leader

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