Traders worried as another bank set to close in Cottingham

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 4 Jan 2018

Village traders are concerned after the announcement another bank in Cottingham village centre is set to shut its doors.

Last month, it was announced the Natwest branch in Cottingham was one of five in the region forced to close as part of a series of closures nationwide.

Earlier in 2017, HSBC also closed its branch in the village, with the building now home to a regional solicitors.

Ward councillor Geraldine Mathieson says the new closure has been a particular concern to traders in the area who want somewhere nearby that is safe to cash significant amounts of money.

“The closure is one of those frustrating things but so many people do online banking and people are not paying with cheques like they used to,” she said.

“People are moving cash from one account to the other online, but there is still a cash economy and people will still need somewhere they can cash money in.

“It’s particularly an issue for traders. I have spoken to a few traders who are all concerned about this.

"It’s something that particularly affects those small business who can’t get a security agency with an armoured van to come collect their cash like big supermarkets do."

Cllr Mathieson said the closure may see more people turn to online banking but that many still prefer speaking directly with staff in store.

"There is still a small Lloyds bank in the village but the decreasing number of banks on high streets is also a concern for elderly residents keen to speak with people face to face," she said.

"There have been people raising concerns on behalf of older people who are worried about the situation.

Cllr Geraldine Mathieson (Image: Simon Renilson)

“We are aware that because there is such an elderly population there will be plenty of people who are unable to keep up with new technology.

“A lot of people want to shop where there is a human being behind the counter, as it can be an invaluable safety net for people who are vulnerable or have difficulty communicating.”

The Natwest store in Cottingham will close on May 29 this year. Customers have been advised that Natwest has an agreement with the Post Office to provide customers with banking services, with a store nearby in Finkle Street.

RBS, which owns Natwest, says the decision to close the bank was made as more customers turn to online banking, and it is encouraging people to use mobile banking instead.

It explained the bank has decided to close the Cottingham branch as it has averaged only 45 people using the bank on a weekly basis.

RBS Group says 63 per cent of customers are now choosing to bank digitally with them on a regular basis instead.

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