Royal Bank of Scotland branch to close


The Wilmslow branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland will be closing.

NatWest has announced the closure of 32 branches, including 21 of its NatWest banks and 11 Royal Bank of Scotland branches - including the one on Water Lane.

A NatWest spokesperson said: "As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking, because it's faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.

"We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren't right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.

"We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them."

The Royal Bank of Scotland closed their Alderley Edge branch in November 2018 and their Grove Street branch in August 2015.

We are currently awaiting confirmation from Nat West regardig when the Water Lane branch will close.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Neil Jennings
Tuesday 15th February 2022 at 2:42 pm
Are there going to be any banks left.
Raymond Walker
Tuesday 15th February 2022 at 4:05 pm
I think the NatWest spokesman is being rather mischievous in suggesting that more are moving over to internet banking as the excuse for closing the branches. Not true! Customers have been bullied into accepting telephone banking when local branch lines were cut, but then could not run their Wavertree, Liverpool Call Centre with adequate staff to stop extensive queuing. They still do not understand that if that was the system customers wanted they'd have joined First Direct years ago.
The staff in the local branch have been excellent since the days two decades ago when Wayne Earlam was manager; if a staff member was getting married some of us would pop in with a bottle to wish them well. Community spirit works both ways.
When they sell the branch properties, or cease to pay rent, will the senior managers who lost money in the sly Libor gamble in 2000-2012 award themselves a boardroom bonus for enhanced yearly profits? Nobody went to prison over the Libor scandal yet ruined the status quo of our banks adequately serving the community.
Now the community is expected to serve the banks. The new system doesn't work well, the apps have flaws and to keep everyone familiar with the internet approach they mischievously introduce 'Activation codes' that expire if not used. Another cheeky game invented to keep one reaching for the mouse.
I am told the NatWest branch in Wilmslow will have double the staff to cope with customers of RBS. We'll see how true that turns out to be.
It is the greed for extra profits that has reduced staff at local level, not a reduction of subordinates in senior management that needs to happen.
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 5:55 pm
#Neil Jennings
I don't know about Alderley Edge but in Wilmslow, the following banks still all provide the traditional over-the-counter services.

Nat West
Marcus Holt
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 7:23 pm
Post office provide all the banking options that most people have needed a branch for. Banks no longer provide "retail services" loans, mortgages, cards are all done over the phone, even if you go into the bank they arrange a phone appointment. Banks are an outdated institution that have failed to change and adapt quick enough. The new type of Banks that are springing up are changing the landscape, its probably over 20yrs since I set foot in a bank and probably about 12 years since I spoke to a human being from my bank. Would imagine most residents didn't even know the branch still existed
Gareth Roberts
Monday 21st February 2022 at 1:20 pm
Post offices do not provide all the services that Banks offer or have offered in the past. The closure of banks is imposition from above not what customers really want from below. What we need is the CHOICE, but sadly that is being eroded and most of us are being forced and trapped into the online/phoning corner, waiting for more punches to be landed by those financial muggers. . . .
David Smith
Saturday 26th February 2022 at 9:11 am
Well, people - you get what you wish for [without actively wishing for it] so USE IT OR LOSE IT.
If you value anything that's under threat then use it MORE.
This applies to CASH - restrict your use of plastic, especially contactless.
Withdraw £££'s once a week from an ATM of your bank.
Send a cheque now and then - birthdays, Christmas etc.

If you are with the RBS, move your account to the sister NatWest in Grove Street and do more of the above.

It is no surprise the above RBS branch is closing as it looks rather large for the service it actually provides. Must have been on the cards for ages as the larger of two branches in town. Also I guess the overheads on such a big commercial premises face crunch time. I wonder who owns the building and rakes in such a fortune?

Some people think The Nationwide is a bank - it's a Building Society, and also the world's LARGEST Building Society! Get that eh - the British [Great British/UK'ish] are actually leading the world at something so how about a big cheer for the Nationwide Building Society? Be quick now before it gets taken over by a bank or Facebook and disappears for EVER.

PS: I’m also surprised that many people don’t take a paper transaction chit when using contactless. They mustn’t check any of their financial statements. This is a sensible bit of advice I regularly hear suggested on financial advice programmes but you can’t tell the young ones anything especially those that get all they know from social media and have never listened to such a thing as the ‘Radio” or ‘wireless’ - as it used to be called because it had no wires - a sort of pioneer of Bluetooth/WiFi.
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 27th February 2022 at 1:59 pm
Also posted on the Wilmslow web page:

It's hardly surprising that bank branches are becoming an endangered species. The nature of banking has changed over recent decades; at one time one banked with a 'branch' and each had a manager who made decisions on authorising loans etc. But there was a significant cost to this large staff and premises overhead, so banks charged customers to run their accounts for them - bank charges were a debit item on every bank statement.
The start of my own career in Computing (as it was then called) coincided with, and got a kick start from, technology starting to move into banking in the 1970s. Branches became electronically linked to large computer centres and the first cash dispensers appeared. This trend continued as technology advanced, moving banking to a model where customers banked with The Bank, rather than The Branch, and branches lost much of their autonomy as services became centralised.

The up-side of this was that when many Building Societies morphed into banks and offered free banking, the clearing banks now with lower overheads and no longer having a captive market to themselves also dropped bank charges for personal customers (not business customers). The traditional branch Bank Manager, Chief Clerk etc were by then historical figures and those branches that remained comprised counter staff and sales persons selling financial services, the latter often termed 'advisors'.

Mechanisation advanced to the point that all the basic personal and much business banking previously handled by bank staff could be done with technology, and for the personal customer in particular telephone, then on-line banking became the way most handled their financial affairs. As that trend grew, unsurprisingly bank branches became ever fewer.
Technology had enabled these changes, but it was the customers who willingly took to the convenience of on-line banking that made it happen.

The losers here are those who cannot or prefer not to use on-line banking services. They see the branch network ever dwindling. But banks are businesses, not a social service, so they will seek to reduce costs and increase profits as all businesses do. Perhaps there is a case for state-subsidised 'bank branch equivalents' (maybe through Post Offices?) to cater for those who need them, though the present government trend is a reduction in public service costs, not an increase.

There are parallels in other business areas; many pubs have closed in recent decades as supermarkets introduced cheap booze to be drunk at home. There are fewer petrol stations that there used to be as many fill up at the supermarket, and those that remain have mostly morphed into mini-supermarkets themselves. The High Street, and with it our town centres, have changed for ever because of on-line shopping.

The world changes and moves on as it always has. But customers vote with their feet and that is what guides the direction of those changes. As someone else said 'use it or lose it'.