BANKING giant RBS will close its Lord Street branch next year in a move which will come as a huge blow to both customers of the bank and Southport town centre.
The Royal Bank of Scotland informed its customers this week that they intend to shut the doors of the branch on March 23 due to a ‘shift towards digital banking’.
It’s not known at this time what will happen to the building - one of the grandest on Lord Street - but there are concerns it could be left empty in what is a prime location.
In explaining the decision, RBS bosses claim millions of their customers manage their money online and there is no longer a need for the local branch.
Customers are instead being asked to use the Nat West branch on Lord Street.
The firm has closed a number of RBS and Nat West branches in Southport in recent years, including in Churchtown and Ainsdale.
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According to figures released by RBS, the Southport branch was used on a ‘regular basis’ by only 24 customers in 2019 and 216 businesses.
There was also a 13% decrease in the number of ‘counter transactions’ carried out by customers in 2019.
RBS used 2019 to collect data due to the pandemic outbreak in 2020.
In a letter sent by RBS to its customers, which has been seen by the Champion, it states said: “The shift towards digital means millions of our customers now manage their money online. With fewer people going into branch, we’ve had to make some really tough choices. Which is unfortunately why we’ll be closing our Southport Lord Street branch on 23 March 2022.
“We completely understand that Digital Banking isn’t right for everyone. Sometimes you want to chat things through with someone. We promise that you’ll still be able to talk to one of our team either on the phone, by video or in one of our other branches
“We’re still here for all your business needs and you’re welcome to use any NatWest or Royal Bank of Scotland branch.”
RBS say the nearest branch is NatWest Southport, further along Lord Street. Customers of RBS can use NatWest branches and local post offices for their everyday banking needs after RBS formally changed its name to NatWest Group in July 2020.