Mobile bank pledge joy for campaigners

Residents in Knott End have signed a petition to try and save the local NatWest bank from closure
Residents in Knott End have signed a petition to try and save the local NatWest bank from closure
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Residents set to be deprived of their bank when their local branch closes are to be offered a mobile service.

The bank on wheels will visit Knott End every week on a day to be decided, NatWest has confirmed.

The decision comes after angry residents launched a petition condemning the bank’s decision to close their branch.

The bank was used in a NatWest advert when the bank vowed to “continue to provide banking services” where they were the last bank in town.

Four years later it was announced the branch – the only bank left in the village – would clsoe next month.

A petition to keep the bank open attracted hundreds of signatures.

A Facebook group gathered 400 members. The news was received with delight by campaign organiser Lea Hornby.

She said: “We are over the moon. It is fantastic news and proves that people power can have an effect.

“We were originally told that a mobile bank was out of the question because they are all being used in the Lake District.

“Then we were told any service was likely to be fortnightly, so this news has come as a wonderful surprise.

“We are delighted and this is fantasic for the elderly who do not want to do their banking online and like to conduct their business over the counter.

“We were determined to save the bank and we are very pleased by this news.”

The decision to provide the mobile service comes after a meeting between campaigners and bank management.

A spokesman for the bank said: “Since the announcement has been made we have engaged with our customers and the wider community to listen to their feedback and understand the impact in particular in a meeting with senior management of the banklast month.

“This will be subject to local agreement and planning consents to enable us to park the mobile bank, but it will enable our customers to access the majority of services that they can in the existing branch.”

During the campaign Coun Vivien Taylor, who represents Wyreside on Lancashire County Council, wrote to NatWest’s chief executive to express her disappointment.

She said: “We have a lot of elderly residents who do not have access to online banking.”

NatWest said a deal with the Post Office means customers will still have access to some banking services. Its Knott End cash machine will also remain once the branch shuts on September 15.

The spokesman said: “The number of transactions taking place at the Knott End branch has dropped by 21 per cent since 2011.”