City to lose ANOTHER bank branch

Royal Bank of Scotland in Queen Street, Norwich

Royal Bank of Scotland in Queen Street, Norwich - Credit: Maya Derrick

Yet another of Norwich's banks is set to close for good at the end of the month.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in Queen Street will close on Thursday, March 31.

RBS is part of the NatWest group which has its nearest branch half a mile away.

Customers are also able to access services via the Post Office.

RBS in Queen Street, Norwich

RBS in Queen Street, Norwich - Credit: Maya Derrick

A spokeswoman for NatWest Group said that between 2017 and 2019 counter transactions at the branch decreased by 48pc and had no regular customers at all in 2019.

This news follows the announcement in November that TSB in Magdalen Street will close this June.

There are currently 12 bank branches left across Norwich, a 48pc decrease since 2015.

The dwindling number of high street banks is something Jenny Ross, money editor with Which?, said is concerning for those who rely on banks and face-to-face services to access cash for everyday essentials.

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She said: "While many consumers now choose to bank digitally, millions of people are not yet ready or able to take that step. The banking industry’s proposals to protect access to cash must keep them in mind, and need to be underpinned by legislation."

Neighbours Teresa Royal, 75, and Pauline Tomlinson, 77, of St Williams Way in Thorpe St Andrew said that branches closing are a disaster for the high street.

Teresa Royal and Pauline Tomlinson of Thorpe St Andrew outside RBS in Queen Street Norwich, which will shut on March 31

Neighbours (L-R) Teresa Royal and Pauline Tomlinson of St Williams Way in Thorpe St Andrew outside RBS in Queen Street Norwich, which will shut at the end of March - Credit: Maya Derrick

Teresa said: "It's really important to have banks on the high street.

"I don't use the internet. I would feel lost if my local bank closed - it would be a disaster."

Pauline added: "They say that people aren't using banks but quite frankly if you go in ours, it's always busy - but that's probably because all the others are shut.

"There are some places that don't have any branches at all."

The NatWest spokeswoman added: "We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.

"We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them."