Campaigners set for protest against decision to close bank

John Fitzgerald who is campaigning to prevent  the closure of NatWest Bank in Kirton.
John Fitzgerald who is campaigning to prevent the closure of NatWest Bank in Kirton.

Residents in Kirton are planning a protest over the closure of Natwest – the only bank in their village.

A protest group has been set up to campaign against the planned closure of the branch on November 25.

Group leader John Fitzgerald, who has set up a petition calling for the decision to be reversed, said: “Our petition is well underway and people can sign copies of itin the bank itself, in Fossitt and Thorme and Beesons Butchers.”

The group is to protest otside the bank on Friday at about 12.15pm.

“We are all hoping they will reconsider their decision to close the bank, said Mr Fitzgerald, a resident and member of the parish council.

“It is the only bank in Kirton and a lot of people depend on it. The alternative is for people to use the Post Office. But that is situated away from the centre, and too far for many elderly people to walk to. Plus it takes three days for cash paid in to clear, whereas with the bank, it’s in our account that day.”

The branch is currently open for 15 hours a week and Natwest say transactions there have dropped ‘significantly’ over the last few years.

This follows the national trend - with a 30 percent drop in transactions at UK branches – while online and mobile banking have grown 200 per cent.

A spokesman for Natwest said: “We understand that some of our customers prefer to be served over-the-counter. As a result we have come to an agreement with the local Post Office, which is close to the branch, so that customers can withdraw cash and check balances free of charge.

“In the coming months they will also be able to pay money in and businesses will be able to get coinage.

“We’ve advised staff and we’re making our customers aware of the closure and the different ways they can still bank with us.

They added: “The nearest post office to the branch is 0.1 miles away.”

“There are also three within a three mile radius.”