Another Retford bank closes with a third to follow in the coming weeks

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Two major banks will leave a town in the coming weeks as customers seem to prefer online banking. Natwest and TSB will have closed their respective Retford branches by the end of May, meaning three banks will have disappeared from the city’s high street in the past year.

NatWest, which was located in the square, closed on Tuesday April 5 and the TSB branch on Carolgate will close on May 24. The news follows Barclays leaving the high street in 2021.

A leaflet was published by NatWest in October 2021 explaining that executives made the decision to close the Retford branch after seeing a 31% decrease in the number of people entering between 2017 and 2019. The data also showed that in 2019, 56% of customers who used the branch also used the online banking alternative, a factor that plays a large role in how NatWest chooses which branches to stay open.

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The nearest NatWest for Retford customers will now be in the nearby town of Worksop on Bridge Street. The TSB on Carolgate is one of 70 branches the banking giant has announced will be closed.

According to a branch review, 66% of TSB’s personal customers use mobile or online banking, alongside 73% of business customers. May 24 will also see the closure of the TSB on Eastgate in Louth.

In a statement previously provided to Lincolnshire Live, acting chief executive Robin Bulloch said: “Closing branches is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but we have to respond to changes in the way people do their banking and providing the right mix of services for all of our current and future customers These changes allow us to maintain an extensive branch presence across the country.

“They are accompanied by a major investment program to modernize branches to better meet customer needs. And, where it takes longer to get to the nearest branch, we will introduce more “pop-up” services to communities.

The nearest TSB branch for customers will now be almost 12 miles away, in Gainsborough. Advisers had previously raised concerns that the closures would make banking services less accessible to various members of the public.

Retford Mayor Cllr Carolyn Troop said the number of bank closures in the town was a ‘great disgrace’ but hoped the buildings could be put to good use. She added, “I hope whoever takes them brings new vitality to the city and contributes to the downtown plan.”

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