THE steady closure of high street banks has now become a torrent with banks abdicating any responsibility towards their customers. RBS (owners of NatWest), closing 259 branches, was one of the banks bailed out by taxpayers and this is their way of repaying us.
All businesses need to make a profit but they also need to serve their customers. Large rural areas in the East Riding are now left without any NatWest services; even the cashpoints are being closed. Driffield is a central place for services to the town and surrounding area. The NatWest bank underpins the cash flow economy of the town. Its closure will have severe economic consequences. The excellent counter service and ambience of the bank have been overwhelmed by the overpowering negative attitude of RBS.
It is rare to go into any bank and find immediate access to the counter, they are nearly always busy. This situation will get worse as customers are diverted to other banks and the Post Office. People are now 12 to 15 miles from their nearest branch. The Whitby closure is tantamount to stupidity when noting the geographical isolation of the town.
As with the closure of local hospitals, the closure of banks will lead to severe personal and social diseconomies. People who cannot travel will become further disenfranchised creating a more divided society emphasising the differences between rural and urban.
As NatWest withdraws from the high street, it enables the bank to put as much distance between itself and their customers; the end of face to face service, a disturbing modern trend.
Being told there are suitable alternatives is no recompense. Mobile banking and internet banking require personal technology which not everyone has or wishes to use. It is the use of the internet that has led to the devastation of high streets throughout the country.
There is a bigger picture. The closure of banks is following the well-established pattern of the closure of many railways and the ongoing closure of hospitals, largely through deceit and misinformation by remote, disinterested bureaucrats, in order to justify closure. In the case of Hornsea will there be anything left apart from the residents, the seafront, a museum, charity and betting shops?
RBS, owners of NatWest, are closing their local branches that will have far reaching consequences for businesses and customers. They will be remembered as an anti-social behemoth.