Anger and upset as Natwest says it will close Stubbington branch

(front) Cllr Chris Wood with (back l-r) Cllr Kay Mandry, residents Edward Longhurst and Pauline Longhurst, Cllr Arthur Mandry and (in front) resident Betty Barrett, outside Natwest in Stubbington Green. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (143105-6971)
(front) Cllr Chris Wood with (back l-r) Cllr Kay Mandry, residents Edward Longhurst and Pauline Longhurst, Cllr Arthur Mandry and (in front) resident Betty Barrett, outside Natwest in Stubbington Green. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (143105-6971)
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VILLAGERS have expressed their anger after a bank announced it intends to close its branch in Stubbington.

Natwest will close the bank on February 10 after it saw the number of transactions taking place at this branch drop by just over a quarter (26 per cent) in the last few years.

Debbie Phillips, from the bank, said: ‘Over our whole branch network there has been a 30 per cent drop in branch transactions since 2010 as people do their banking where and when it is convenient for them, while online and mobile transactions have grown by over 200 per cent.

‘We expect these trends to continue as more and more of our customers bank with us through our mobile app, by online and telephone and through our upgraded ATM network.’

The news has upset residents, including Bea Hinton.

The 67-year-old said: ‘I feel very angry and upset. Otherwise I’ve got to go into Fareham. And what about the elderly people who rely on it?

‘We have been with them 44 years. We’ve been loyal customers and they’re putting profits before customers. They are trying to encourage online banking – my husband will not do it, no way Jose.’

Mrs Phillips said Natwest had picked that branch to close as it was only open for 20 hours per week and the nearest branch was in Fareham, within five miles.

The bank has set up a deal with the Post Office so that bank customers can withdraw cash and make deposits.

She also said the bank intends to open more cash points, as well as upgrading its remaining branches.

She said: ‘We’ve advised staff and we’re writing to our customers to make them aware of the closure and the different ways they can still bank with us.

‘If customers or local businesses are concerned about how this will impact their banking, they can go into the branch where staff will be happy to discuss the alternative ways to bank with us.’

Ward councillor Chris Wood said he was ‘outraged’ by the closure.

Cllr Wood, who also represents Crofton on Hampshire County Council, said: ‘It is just not good enough. The amount of people that use it. It is one of the things that are vital to create a vibrant village 
life.’