Two more banks in the Vale of Clwyd are set to close next summer.
NatWest’s Prestatyn and Ruthin branches are among nine across North Wales which are set to close over a five week period. Last year, eight NatWest banks were closed in the region – including three in the Point FM area at Abergele, St Asaph and Denbigh.
It’s understood the Prestatyn bank will close on Thursday 8th June 2017, followed by Ruthin five days later. The plans will leave Rhyl as the only branch still open in Denbighshire.
The other seven branches set to close are Porthmadog, Holywell, Holyhead, Menai Bridge, Caernarfon, Amlwch and Conwy.
A NatWest spokesperson said the latest closures were the result of a fall in transactions at their branches in favour of mobile and online: ”The way people choose to bank with us has changed radically over the last few years…we are communicating with our customers affected by these closures and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers.”
But politicians have reacted angrily to the announcement. The Conservative MP for Aberconwy, Guto Bebb, told BBC Cymru Fyw: ”I have regular discussions with the banking group RBS and I have arranged a meeting on Friday with Hollie Voyce and Mark Douglas, the two senior RBS officials, to express my disappointment and the anger which will be felt by residents and businesses in Conwy.”
Labour’s Ynys Mon MP, Albert Owen, said: ”Branch closures are planned and done by stealth, first they encourage their customers to do their banking online, reduce the hours they are open, and then produce figures that supposedly justify abandoning local branches. It’s simply not good enough. NatWest has not listened to its customers’ concerns. This is a mass closure programme, pure and simple, with the sole aim of reducing services and overheads and increasing the profitability for the shareholders.”
The Co-Op closed its Rhyl bank last April with the loss of six jobs.