Hundreds sign petition to save “vital” bank

Campaigning against the closure of the NatWest bank, Hebden Bridge. From the left, Ella Wilson from Pennine Provisions, councillor Janet Battye, butcher Stephen Maskill, councillor Ali Miles, councillor Steve Sweeney and Bill Deakin from Silly Billy's.

Campaigning against the closure of the NatWest bank, Hebden Bridge. From the left, Ella Wilson from Pennine Provisions, councillor Janet Battye, butcher Stephen Maskill, councillor Ali Miles, councillor Steve Sweeney and Bill Deakin from Silly Billy's.

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A petition that was started to stop the closure of the NatWest bank has received more than 260 signatures.

NatWest announced plans earlier this month to close its branch on Crown Street due to a ten per cent drop in branch transactions in the last few years.

The closure has sparked outrage in the community with businesses and members of the community getting on board to try save the “vital” service.

Bill Deakin, who created the petition, said: “There has been a fantastic reaction in the town.

“Obviously, from the response the petition has received, people are against the closure of NatWest in Hebden Bridge. The people that signed it are young and old showing that the bank is vital for all ages.”

Bill will hand the petition to the bank soon and hopes to get a positive response.

The Hebden Bridge bank is due to close on February 24, 2015.

The address on bank statements and cheque books, will be changed to the Halifax NatWest on Waterhouse Street.

The ATM will stay in the community and there is an agreement in place with the Post Office in Hebden Bridge so that customers can withdraw cash, make deposits and check balances free of charge.

A NatWest spokeswoman insisted no jobs will be lost at the Hebden Bridge branch and employees would be deployed elsewhere.”

“The number of transactions taking place at this branch has dropped by 10 per cent over the last few years,” she said. “Online and mobile transactions have grown by over 200 per cent. We expect these trends to continue as more and more of our customers bank with us through our mobile app, by online and telephone and through our upgraded ATM network.

“Our branches are still very important to us and we’ll continue to have one of the largest branch networks in the UK.

“Eighty per cent of our customers are within a three mile radius of a branch, and when you include the Post Office network that rises to 90 per cent of our customers being within one mile of a place where they can carry out their every day banking,” she added.