‘Bankers don’t give a fig for communities – just profits’

The Lytham branch of NatWest bank
The Lytham branch of NatWest bank

It’s the age old story – we want them on our high streets but fewer and fewer of us use them.

We revealed last week that NatWest is to close its operations in Lytham, Fleetwood, Poulton and Kirkham in June.

The closures are part of a schedule to shut 14 branches across the county. Around seven jobs are set to go locally.

At the Lytham branch two jobs are under threat, in Fleetwood one role could be lost and at Kirkham and Poulton two roles each are under threat.

NatWest said the changes are due because more people are choosing to carry out banking online.

Traders, business people and community leaders voiced their dismay at the decision.

Here’s what our online readers had to say.

Carole Croston: Knott End closed early this year so Poulton was our next nearest which is now closing. Making Cleveleys next nearest. Buses cut over here meaning no bus to cleveleys from Knott End. Don’t know when the bank is supposed to be contacting customers but we haven’t had word from them

Russ Waring: No good for the elderly or infirm who may not be able to get into town to the branch or are not confident with online banking. Just an account number these days, not a person anymore.

Darren Hindle: So run a loss making branch for people who can’t use the net? And the elderly and infirm get bus passes so how is distance an issue?

Exiled boy in Fife: No doubt all the people who throw their hands up in horror at this are the same people who would struggle to recall the last time they were in a bank branch.....the simple and unfortunate truth is that with the rise of online/telephone/mobile banking bank branches are nowhere near as busy as they once were. I mean I’ll honestly admit that the last time I was in at a bank branch was over a year ago to pay in a cheque.

A bank is like any other business - it’s a case of use it or lose it. I mean a butcher, supermarket or a florist would struggle to stay open if the number of folk visiting it was falling.

Horatio Nelson: ‘We have listened closely to feedback from local communities...’ Oh no they haven’t, the only people they listen to are their own accountants, who demand a profit from every branch or else it has to go.

That’s two down, two to go in Poulton now, who’s next, RBS or Barclays? Bankers don’t give a fig for communities or the public, only for profits ... and their fat bonuses of course

People’s Poet: And the moral of this tale? Use it or lose it. Businesses can’t be expected to run, maintain and staff large buildings that only a few elderly people are patronising. Move with the times people.. If you can’t buy a cheap tablet or laptop and learn the basics of online banking etc, you probably shouldn’t be allowed out on your own

Vincent Dyson: With all the online fraud about today, some people prefer to go to the bank, not all people have internet access,

Isabell Currie: Lots of people still go into banks and prefer it that way . Not everyone knows or likes to do it online

Jefferson Graham: A huge impact on a variety of communities

Stuart Reynolds: Why don’t banks operate like food malls, and use one banking hall in a town for multiple operators? Sharing premises.

Marion Hall: How can small privately owned shops manage?

Geraldine Savage: What happens when you do on line banking and it goes wrong or the internet is down?

Rachel Cooper: Online banking is the way forward but not for my 84-year-old gran - it’s the older generation that are losing

Elizabath Prescott: I get paid in cash and make a fair bit of tips so unfortunately I need a bank I can go in.

Steph Courtnage: I’m shocked Kirkham is going, it’s not exactly quiet. I’m annoyed that Lytham is going.. now they expect me to pay £3 parking in either Blackpool or Preston (as well as travelling nearly 10 miles) just to pop into a bank?