Following up on the article by Richard Morris (Dismay as another bank quits Seaside, Herald, August 26), I would like to stress the importance of the issue of bank branch closures to the whole population of Eastbourne and the surrounding area.
As the article stated, Seaside has lost four bank branches in the last five years or so, as well as the Marine Parade post office, meaning local residents have no access to a free-to-use cashpoint. The nearest is in the town centre or the post office and Tesco Express at the Archery.
This is not the first area of the town to be affected in this way – Albert Parade has also lost its bank and, to the best of my knowledge, does not have a cashpoint available at all times.
Seaside will not be the last area affected either – there is evidence, supplied by the Campaign for Community Banking, that the NatWest in Meads is to close, although this has not been formally announced.
One wonders which branch bank will be next. Is the bank at Hampden Park at risk? Could Polegate be next? Small communities, whether they are within a town or in the countryside, need branch banks.
Banks tell us we can use their internet sites but I haven’t yet managed to get a cheque or a pound coin to go down my telephone line. So what do businesses do about banking takings at the end of the day?
It is not only an issue in Eastbourne. Communities across the country are affected, as was highlighted by an article in last weekend’s Mail on Sunday in which, I was pleased to say, we managed to get Eastbourne a mention.
The NatWest policy of branch closures, as being practised in Eastbourne, makes a mockery of their recent attempts to advertise themselves as offering ‘helpful banking’.
We need to make them, and all the other banks, aware that this is another way in which they are damaging businesses and individuals.
I, along with many people, feel there is nothing we can do to get large institutions to change their policies but we can be very annoying.
So I ask the local community that if they feel strongly about this issue, please consider writing to NatWest, which is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland, addressing your letter to Stephen Hester, Group Chief Executive, Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, PO Box 1000, Edinburgh, EH12 1HQ.
If you are concerned about another bank then a list of CEOs can be found on the Campaign for Community Banking website – www.communitybanking.org.uk. If you have any other constructive suggestions about how we can fight the bank closures then you can email me on email@example.com .