*Update: I will be presenting my petition in Parliament after conference recess, so please sign and share to show the strength of feeling locally against these plans.
26 July 2021
I’m extremely disappointed that NatWest have announced they’re closing their Crouch End & Hornsey Branch in November.
Crouch End has already lost Santander and Nationwide so this is yet another blow for local residents and small businesses who rely on these branches for cash. It’s particularly tough for vulnerable people who struggle to access online banking.
I’ve already written to NatWest to make clear my objections to these proposals and to ask specific questions about the future of the free-to-use ATM, the consultation plans with vulnerable customers and small businesses, and what this means for the hard-working branch staff. I am pleased that NatWest have now confirmed that all staff members will be redeployed, but am very disappointed that the free-to-use ATM will be lost and that elderly & vulnerable customers and small businesses face yet more disruption.
Sadly, what we’re seeing in Crouch End is being echoed across the country. Since 2015, bank branches have been closing at the rate of 50 a month, yet we know that over 8 million adults would struggle to cope in a cashless society, particularly elderly, vulnerable people and those on lower incomes. It’s not good enough to try and push everyone online. Nobody should be penalised because they don’t have the right technology and banks need to step up and use some of their vast profits to show some social responsibility for the communities they serve.
If we don’t get to grips with this quickly, it will worsen inequality in our society.