Ramsgate branch of NatWest to shut this August

NatWest in Ramsgate

The Ramsgate branch of NatWest bank will shut for good on August 8th.

NatWest says that between January 2019 and January 2023 counter transactions have reduced by 60% while the number of customers using mobile apps increased by 49%. A leaflet explaining the closure says just 13 personal customers used the branch weekly in 2023 and 171 businesses used counter services monthly.

It says: “With the ease of mobile and online banking fewer people are coming into the bank. This means we’ve had to make some tough choices about which can stay open.”

The nearest branch after the closure will be in Cecil Square Margate. Transactions can also be made at the Post Office. The closure news follows on the heels of the announcement that Barclays will shut the Ramsgate branch on April 19

NatWest says: “We will introduce a community pop-up following closure that will be based in a community venue near to the closing branch. This service will be available for up to 12 weeks and a local colleague will be available to support with:

  • face-to-face conversations around your banking needs
  • support you with setting up and using our digital services
  • advice on how to protect yourself against fraud and scams.

“It is a cashless service, however we will provide information on how you can use your local Post Office for cash based transactions.”

31 Comments

  1. The people behind these decisions are totally unprincipled.

    A lot of customers are NOT using internet banking through choice; they are doing it because they’ve been BULLIED into it. The banks (and supermarkets) are setting up their traditional services to fail, by deliberately making face-to-face services less efficient and accessible than the vile, impersonal, online alternative. And when things fail they put the blame on the customers.

  2. Banks, much like any other important customer facing organisation, have been allowed to close all avenues of face-to-face access. It’s been allowed to happen because there’s no legislation to prevent it.

    Saying that online transactions have increased 49% means nothing if people are forced to go online if there’s no branch.

    I’d be keen to know what proportion of that 49% increase had no choice but to go online. I’d wager at least half that.

    NatWest wouldn’t entertain me opening an account step by step through them as had been done traditionally. They would only guide me through their website on my own device!

    • I did that, but then ALL banks closed in Westgate-on-Sea… and then Birchington… and then Broadstairs! How long before there’s no banks in Thanet? I give it two years max.

    • Paul, can you name any banks and building societies that will commit to staying in Ramsgate? In the past three years three out of the four main high street banks have stuck two fingers up at our high street

      • Nationwide. They’re committed to face to face in branch banking & I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they’re a mutual and not a bank run by and for shareholders profit.

        • Unfortunately, they only accept a limited amount of loose cash, ditto post offices. I was in a charity shop in (bank-less) Chipping Norton last year, and they told me they have to PAY to get rid of their cash, as the local post office branch refused to take it.

        • Nationwide say they are committed but not very long ago they shut the Cliftonville office. Most of the banks said they were committed to having a bank for customers but they are all disappearing one by one.
          It’s all good and well saying to find one in your town to change to but how long will it be there? Nobody knows.

  3. I agree with Ms Pink, which is most unusual.I blame the government and why not, for not ensuring that every town or settlement has the banking hubs that were promised by the banks.The pusillanimous, toadying behaviour exhibited by this govt towards the outrageous behaviour of some in corporate sector is one reason why public opinion believes that things won’t get better.

  4. NatWest are being very disingenuous of course, in saying ‘just 13 personal customers used the branch weekly in 2023 and 171 businesses used counter services monthly’. They should state how many visits to the counter and to the paying-in machines there are per week. It will be a lot, the branch is very well used, there is nearly always a queue for the counter, and people using the paying-in machine.

    • Too lazy to use google?

      Monday: 9:30 – 16:30
      Tuesday: 10:00 – 16:30
      Wednesday: 9:30 – 16:30
      Thursday: 9:30 – 16:30
      Friday: 9:30 – 16:30
      Saturday: Closed
      Sunday: Closed

  5. Every time I have used the Ramsgate branch there has been a queue.
    Somebody is either manipulating figure or telling porkies.
    As has been said above, we have been bullied into going on line. I have been a user of this branch for over 45 years.

  6. So even less places to draw cash from. Margate Post Office will be going as well unless they have found a new premises to set up as WH.Smith is leaving the High street very soon.
    It’s bad enough having to travel from one town to the next to find a branch to bank in, it’s them forcing older people into using cards for everything. Soon Canterbury will be the nearest place to bank until they shut them down too.
    At least they can open another trendy coffee shop in them as that is what they think we need.

    • The fate of the four ex-banks in Birchington has been fairly balanced: a Pizza shop, a dentist, a furniture store and an office. So we’ve been luckier than most in that respect.

  7. If customers don’t shop (or bank) in person, shops (and banks) will close. The alternative is those customers left who want to shop in person will have to pay increased prices, including bank charges. It costs money in business rates, staff salaries, utilities, to keep shops and banks open. Customers who go into branches for advice do not pay the bank charges needed to cover their running costs.

    The world has changed. If we want to secure shop and banking services in our towns we all, collectively, have to buck the global trend to shopping, paying bills and banking online. But it’s probably already too late. Shops, even in WWX, will tell you to shop online for the stock they do not carry in the store.

    As for banking, probably the only way forward now is banking hubs, which will almost certainly need government intervention.

    • Those who have tried to use banks have often been instructed by staff to either use the internet or cash machines. So it’s not that simple.

      These figures are manipulated because of this, just like Turner Contemporary figures are manipulated in the opposite direction by closing all other nearby public toilets.

      • Amazed these people follow such orders & put themselves out of a job. Same thing with the supermarkets-Sainsbury’s put staff there to tell people to pay at cashless robot tills that shout error at you, rather than waiting for a human cashier.

        All the bosses are trying to do is sack as many people as possible-so they can buy more Yachts, BMW’s etc with their extra 6 million or whatever bonuses for getting shot of staff & the idiots running/managing these stores are like Turkeys voting for Christmas.

  8. I long ago decided to never carry out any financial transaction on the Internet, which I trust about as far as I can throw a London Transport bus. There was a TV programme recently that showed some 10,000,000 people, mostly elderly, who do not have the internet, and those that do cannot use a keyboard! Doesn’t the government still own some of NatWest after it went bust? Why not nationalise NatWest?

    • I’m with you there. If the government nationalised a bank and put branches back in every high street, it would surely be hugely popular?

    • Don’t the public own them? Since it was public money that bought them all out in the crash they caused, so they could survive?

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