Fears Little Common will lose out as last bank closes

6/5/14- Natwest Bank, Little Common SUS-140705-090544001
6/5/14- Natwest Bank, Little Common SUS-140705-090544001

Little Common is to lose its only bank with the closure of the NatWest branch in July.

A NatWest spokesman said this was “a difficult decision” but local councillor Stuart Earl fears the impact on the local community.

He told the Observer: “I think it is a great shame for us in Little Common. I witnessed the closure of banks in Sidley, and there was an immediate decline in people using the high street - not only to put money into the bank, but also take it out and spend locally. If they have to go further afield to do their banking they will probably go further afield to do their shopping.”

The Little Common and Cooden branch - which is open part-time - will close on July 25. NatWest blames a drop in the number of customers and claims many are using alternative ways to bank - by telephone, in post offices, by app and online,

Media relations officer Sarah Binne commented: “The branch is open for 17.5 hours a week and there are only 25 customers who regularly use this branch each week

Over our whole branch network there has been a 30% drop in branch transactions since 2010 as people do their banking when and where it is convenient for them.”

NatWest customers will be able to withdraw cash, check balances and pay bills free of charge at the post office in Little Common. The nearest NatWest branch is 2.2 miles away.