CAROLINE CHALLENGES LOCAL BANK CLOSURE

Local MP Caroline Dinenage yesterday met with the head of UK Regional Public Affairs at RBS to discuss the forthcoming closure of NatWest in Stubbington.

The branch will close on Tuesday 10th February, leaving many local customers concerned about the future provision of services.

Caroline was keen to speak directly to bosses at the bank in order to challenge them about their decision to pull out of Stubbington and to ensure that adequate alternatives are put in place for both personal and business account holders. During the meeting, NatWest stressed that they had arranged for their bank customers to access services at the Post Office instead.

Caroline commented:

"As ever, it seems these decisions are made before local customers even get to hear of them, but I was determined to hold Nat West to account on this. I understand that footfall has dropped 32% in the last 5 years while online and mobile banking is up 232%, forcing banks to make some difficult decisions about the future of their branches. However, I do still feel that they have a moral responsibility to support our communities."

The closure of NatWest in Stubbington follows the decision by HSBC to shut down the last bank in Lee-on-the-Solent. Since then, Caroline has campaigned against bank closures, speaking out during questions to the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the House of Commons.