02 FEB 2018

COMMUNITY LEADERS TAKE UP BANK CLOSURE CONCERNS WITH NATWEST

Community leaders have spelled out to NatWest the devastating effects that their bank's closures will have on Narberth and Pembroke.

Traders, councillors and concerned customers were invited to the meeting organised by Simon Hart MP and which took place in Narberth.

Kirsten Jenkins, regional director of branches and Kevin Morgan, regional director for business banking listened to the concerns that were raised.

"We do appreciate that people are moving to on-line and phone banking and that banks are not as busy as they once were," said Mr Hart, "but I think NatWest has failed to grasp that we have two unique factors in south Pembrokeshire because of our seaside nature; we have an older population who do not trust on-line banking and we have a lot of tourism businesses who still rely on cash day to day.

"It's all well and good saying that you can now stay at home and take a photo of your cheque and pay it in to your account on your banking app – but what if you don't have smart phone and what if it's cash that you want to pay in?"

Butcher Andrew Rees, chairman of the Narberth Chamber of Trade, said: "I think it's very short-sighted, it is driving people away from the High Street, your customers won't be coming into town to shop with us."

A strong plea was made for the cashpoint to be retained in Narberth as it is the only outdoor one left on the High Street.

"The only other outdoor cashpoint in Narberth is at the Nisa supermarket which is about 300 yards away, uphill and in an unlit carpark and on the outskirts of town," added Mr Hart. "I fear that not having easily accessible cash available on the High Street will hit local shops and cafes."

Also in attendance were Stephen Thornton from Pembroke Chamber of Trade, Narberth Town Councillor Liz Rogers, Narberth County Councillor Vic Dennis, Pembroke St Michael County Councillor Aaron Carey and Callum Goldthorpe from the Queen's Hall.

NatWest is closing both the Narberth and Pembroke branches on June 28. As well as retaining the Narberth cashpoint, the bank was also asked to work with the community to find the most central and convenient location for the mobile banking vans which will visit the towns once a week.

Ends

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SW1A 0AA

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Carmarthenshire
SA34 0AN

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