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  • NatWest Skelmersdale branch to close next year

    Henry James

    NATWEST is to close its Skelmersdale branch in the Concourse next May.

    The Skelmersdale site was included in the 62 Royal Bank of Scotland and 197 NatWest branches which are to close.

    The redundancy programme will lead to about 680 redundancies and the RBS branch network is aiming to manage this process on a voluntary basis.

    The company is blaming the closures on the fact that more people are choosing to do their banking online.

    West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented: “This is dreadful and very disappointing news for Skelmersdale residents and for the staff at the branch whose future may be unclear at this point.

    “NatWest have pointed to declining numbers using the branch and say that is a key reason for choosing to close the Skelmersdale branch.

    “What is so deeply disappointing is that this is another town centre business which is shutting its doors, at a time when we are trying to push ahead with getting the new town centre built.

    “The new town centre would bring increased footfall into the area and we might have seen a different outcome with NatWest.

    “We need to get a move on with the town centre and I will be contacting the chief executive and Leader at West Lancashire Borough Council to ask what steps they are taking to tackle the current exodus from Skelmersdale.

    “We have NatWest closing, GE making up to 90 redundancies and Scott Rees the solicitors moving 200 of their staff down the M6 to Newton-le-Willows; Skelmersdale needs more than ambassadors – we need action, a quick start on the town centre and a thorough review of economic development plans for the area.”

    An RBS spokesperson commented: “More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile. Since 2014 the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40% and mobile transactions have increased by 73% over the same period. Over five million customers now use our mobile banking app and one in five only bank with us digitally.”

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