NatWest to shutter two London branches in latest round of closures taking UK total to 66
Natwest will close a further 23 branches between April and June this year, including two in London, as the shuttering of its presence on Britain’s high streets picks up pace.
The closures add to the 43 branches Natwest has already confirmed will be closing in 2023.
Only two of the branches – Clapham High Street and Marylebone High Street – are in London. The first branches to close are in Southampton and Blackpool on 25 April.
A NatWest spokesperson said: “As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking, because it’s faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.”
Natwest acknowledged that digital solutions “aren’t right for everyone or every situation”, promising to invest 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,” they continued.
The news comes just one week after Lloyds Banking Group said it will close a further 40 branches this year. Lloyds will close the doors at 22 branches while there will be 18 closures at Halifax. The branches will be closed between April and June this year.
Almost all banks – with the exception of Nationwide – are shutting physical branches as online banking becomes ever more prominent. Figures from Finder show online banking usage at 93 per cent in 2022, up from 32 per cent in 2007.
HSBC will shut 114 branches in 2023, on top of the 69 it closed in 2022. Barclays confirmed it will close a further 15 branches last week, bringing its total figure of planned closures for the year to 26.
The Financial Conduct Authority brought in new guidance last October to clarify the rules on branch closures in an attempt to ensure that banks treat customers fairly when closing branches.