NatWest announces closure of prominent Birmingham branch

NatWest Birmingham Broad Street

NatWest is to close one of its main branches in Birmingham city centre, the bank has announced.

The Broad Street branch will close at the end of February and staff redeployed.

The bank said changes in the way customers accessed its services had meant the branch was now seeing just six customers a week in person as the vast majority looked to access their accounts online.

In a statement, the bank said: “We have taken the difficult decision to close the NatWest Birmingham Broad Street branch on February 27, 2018.

“We are following the new Access to Banking Standard and we have made our decision after careful consideration of a wide range of factors including changes in customer usage of the branch over a long period of time.

“Since 2012 we have seen the way in which people use (the) branch change dramatically; 87% of our customers are preferring to do their regular banking digitally and 81% of customers are banking in other ways locally. Birmingham Broad Street now only has six customers visiting the branch on a weekly basis.”

The bank said it was contacting customers affected by the closure to warn them of the situation and to highlight how they could continue to access the bank’s services.

“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,” it added.

To oversee the transition, the bank has appointed a new Community Banker who will remain in the local area after the closure to provide customers with personal assistance and support on accessing its services.

“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,” said the bank.

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