THE closure of a high street bank in a South Derbyshire village has been blamed on the fact that there has been a massive fall in the number of people who used it.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) revealed that its decision to close its NatWest branch based near The Cross, in Repton, was due to a 30 per cent fall in branch transactions over the past four years.
This comes only a matter of years after bosses pledged that sites such as the one in Repton would not close as it was classed in a ‘the last bank in town’ bracket.
RBS said branches classed in this way were only open for a few hours a week and some of them often saw only one or two customers an hour.
A spokesman for RBS said: “Banking has changed significantly over the last few years as more and more of our customers are banking with us where and when it is convenient for them.
“We have to adapt to what our customers want, which is why we’re investing in a range of other ways our customers can bank with us, including online and telephone banking, with our mobile app, and in any one of the Post Office’s 11,500 branches across the UK.”
It added that in most cases customers would still only be a few miles away from their nearest branch in Burton town centre and in Derby.
Jobs at the Repton branch are set to be redistributed among the bank’s network in the area.
A spokesman for Repton Parish Council said: “The local branch is to close. The bank says there has been a 30 per cent drop in transactions over the last four years.
“Previously, the bank operated a ‘customer charter’ stating that they would never close a branch if it was the last in that location’ but this charter has now been dropped.
“Repton’s bank is one of 44 branches that have been earmarked for closure and local residents will then have to travel further afield.”
The Unite union has accused taxpayer-owned RBS of turning its back on local communities and has urged the government to demand that the bank reverses its decision.