NatWest in Diss to close after customers choose to go digital

Mere Street in Diss.
Mere Street in Diss.

NatWest has announced its branch in Diss will be closing its doors next year after a change in how people use the bank’s services.

The branch in Mere Steet will close on May 30, 2018, leaving Wymondham as the nearest branch – 15.1 miles away.

A spokesperson for NatWest said the branch’s closure was a “difficult decision”.

They added: “We provide our customers with more ways to bank than ever before – customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options. “The way people bank with us has changed radically over the last few years. Since 2014, the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40 per cent.

“During the same period mobile transactions have increased by 73 per cent, and in the first half of 2017, there were 1.1 billion mobile and online transactions carried out by our customers – an increase 41 per cent since 2014.

NatWest has said its Diss branch has change “dramatically”, with now 85 per cent of customers already banking in other ways locally. Transactions in the branch have reduced by 33 per cent since 2012 with now only 56 customers visiting the branch on a weekly basis. More then 50 per cent of customers are now choosing to bank digitally with us on a regular basis instead.

The spokesperson added: “We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable customers and regular branch users.

“We have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six month. 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.

“We are following the Access to Banking Standard and we have made our decision after careful consideration of a wide range of factors”.

NatWest said it provides alternative ways to bank, including online and mobile, telephony, video banking, at a Post Office, at ATMs, mobile branches, community bankers, TechXpert, or other branches for customers to visit.