Bank-you and goodnight: Colne bank axed

The Church Street branch in Colne will close later this year.
The Church Street branch in Colne will close later this year.

The Colne branch of NatWest is set to close this September as the company looks to adapt to an ever-changing demographic of customers and subsequent changes to how people use their services.

Since 2011, the Colne branch, on Church Street, has seen a 20% decrease in transactions as a new generation of banking customers plump for either the online service or the mobile app.

Between 2010 and 2015, mobile and online transactions increased by over 400% and mobile transactions alone have increased by 1,350%.

"The way people choose to bank with us has changed radically over the last few years," said Kate Visser, Regional Public Relations Manager for NatWest. "Customers are actively choosing to bank in different ways, with 64.6% of customers choosing to use our digital banking options.

"We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers," she added. "We have listened closely to feedback from local communities and have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months.

"This has been done in order to ensure our customers have time to consider the right banking options for them."

Addressing the needs of an older generation potentially unfamiliar with the online and mobile app services, NatWest have created a new specialist taskforce of NatWest TechXperts dedicated to supporting customers with digital training and support. From next month, at least one TechXpert will be available in each NatWest branch.

As well as the online and mobile services, NatWest customers can still contact the company over the phone, via web-chat, and social media, with contact centres open 24/7. Bona fide banking services available over the phone range from transfers and payments to opening new accounts, financial reviews, and support with using digital banking.

Customers can also access a range of services - including paying money in, taking money out, and checking balances - at the Post Office, with the nearest branch just 0.31 miles away from the NatWest and five other Post Offices within three miles. The Burnley branch, some seven miles away, will remain open as usual.