Double whammy for local NatWest customers as branch closure is followed by curbs on cash point access

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today hit out at a major bank for imposing curbs on cash point access for some of their customers.

Tom said “Bosses at the Royal Bank of Scotland – the owners of the Natwest Bank – have now announced new restrictions on the use of their cash point machines for some of their customers.  They have now said that any customers who only hold a basic current account with them cannot in future use cash point machines run by other banks, saying the fees it was paying to other banks for the service were too high.”

“I find this despicable, and coming only a few weeks after they announced yet another branch closure – this time at Saltburn – it just adds insult to injury.  People who have just a basic current account are often poorer people, or people who have an account simply so, for instance, an old age pension can be paid in to it.”

“What this will mean is that, for example, a Natwest basic account holder in East Cleveland, may – in future – have to travel all the way to either Marske or Guisborough to access a Natwest cash point ATM, as the branches that used to exist in Loftus, Skelton and now Saltburn are closed or are closing.”

“The House of Commons Treasury Select Committee have also denounced this move by RBS, a move that has copied a similar tactic used in the recent past by Lloyds Bank, on the basis that this discourages financial inclusion and unfairly targets poor customers.  They are right to ask RBS to think again, and on behalf of local Natwest customers, I would hope that RBS’s already
well paid high bonus bosses, of a company which is, after all, 83% owned by the public, will heed that call.  They have said that they will look again at customers in rural areas, and this certainly reflects the position in East Cleveland.”

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