Campaigners ask Eastleigh MP to step into fight to save Natwest branch in Fair Oak

Daily Echo: Lisa Smith, Mike Thornton MP and Jason Judd. Lisa Smith, Mike Thornton MP and Jason Judd.

CAMPAIGNERS are taking their fight to save their bank to the heart of Government.

Residents and businesses in Fair Oak have been battling to save their NatWest branch, which they say is vital as it is the last bank in the village.

But yesterday, after presenting senior NatWest officials with a petition of 1,100 signatures, they were told the decision had been made and that the bank will shut on July 9.

Now Save Fair Oak NatWest supporters are launching a last ditch bid to save the branch by pleading with one of the most powerful men in Government, Business Secretary Vince Cable.

They will also petition bosses from NatWest’s parent company The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Campaigner Jason Judd, who runs the Oven Door Bakery in Botley Road, said: “I don’t know if it will have much of an effect but it is worth a try and we have corresponded before.

“But we have to do all we can to keep the bank here.

“We requested a review of the decision but were told it is too late and they didn’t give us any reason for that.

“That bank is very important to the village and when we asked what we are supposed to do they just referred us to Internet banking, which is not appropriate for all, or to go to Eastleigh, which some people cannot do.”

Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton said for his part he would be arranging a meeting with Vince Cable.

He said: “I will talk to him to see if anything can be done. We are disappointed at the attitude of the bank.

“They should have reviewed the decision to see if they could improve business at the branch to make it financially viable.”

Last night NatWest said the decision followed a decline in usage, which it said dropped by nearly a quarter in the past few years because of alternative ways of banking.

A spokesman said: “This includes by telephone, in Post Offices, by app and online.

“The branch is open 15 hours a week and only 31 customers regularly use the branch each week. We are writing to our customers to make them aware of the closure and the different ways they can still bank with us.”

Comments (9)

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10:18am Fri 16 May 14

aldermoorboy says...

Supermarket banks will be the future
Supermarket banks will be the future aldermoorboy
  • Score: -1

10:24am Fri 16 May 14

From the sidelines says...

Get this, people; banks owe you nothing. They owe your MP nothing. Try and understand how business works. Please.
Get this, people; banks owe you nothing. They owe your MP nothing. Try and understand how business works. Please. From the sidelines
  • Score: 3

11:49am Fri 16 May 14

Brock_and_Roll says...

Only 31 customers using the branch per week.....no business could justify staying open with that kind of footfall.

Who actually needs to go into a bank anyway these days? My business bank closed all its branches in England a few years back.... and whilst a bit cheesed off about it at the time, it has made absolutely no difference!
Only 31 customers using the branch per week.....no business could justify staying open with that kind of footfall. Who actually needs to go into a bank anyway these days? My business bank closed all its branches in England a few years back.... and whilst a bit cheesed off about it at the time, it has made absolutely no difference! Brock_and_Roll
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Fri 16 May 14

lionheart says...

Brock_and_Roll wrote:
Only 31 customers using the branch per week.....no business could justify staying open with that kind of footfall.

Who actually needs to go into a bank anyway these days? My business bank closed all its branches in England a few years back.... and whilst a bit cheesed off about it at the time, it has made absolutely no difference!
Where do you get those figures from? I don't live anywhere near Fair Oak but I listened to Mr Judd on Radio Solent and he was saying that he can see from his shop next door that at times there are queues to the door in the bank.

If those figures are from Nat West then they are a joke. Over 3 days that's 10 customers a day which can't be correct. I hope the protesters challenge Nat West to publish the statistics.

Firstly what does Nat West call a customer. Someone whose account is domiciled at the branch.

Bank's are crafty. They hive off accounts to other cost centres in respect of business and premium private customers. They then disenfranchise staff at the small branches to open accounts, loans and credit cards so that no new business can be written so it's then all downhill with regard to income derived from customers to offset costs.

Someone then in their ivory tower in London is targeted to close unprofitable branches and that's that. It's all done by massaging the figures over a period of time.

Good luck to the locals in fighting the closure.
[quote][p][bold]Brock_and_Roll[/bold] wrote: Only 31 customers using the branch per week.....no business could justify staying open with that kind of footfall. Who actually needs to go into a bank anyway these days? My business bank closed all its branches in England a few years back.... and whilst a bit cheesed off about it at the time, it has made absolutely no difference![/p][/quote]Where do you get those figures from? I don't live anywhere near Fair Oak but I listened to Mr Judd on Radio Solent and he was saying that he can see from his shop next door that at times there are queues to the door in the bank. If those figures are from Nat West then they are a joke. Over 3 days that's 10 customers a day which can't be correct. I hope the protesters challenge Nat West to publish the statistics. Firstly what does Nat West call a customer. Someone whose account is domiciled at the branch. Bank's are crafty. They hive off accounts to other cost centres in respect of business and premium private customers. They then disenfranchise staff at the small branches to open accounts, loans and credit cards so that no new business can be written so it's then all downhill with regard to income derived from customers to offset costs. Someone then in their ivory tower in London is targeted to close unprofitable branches and that's that. It's all done by massaging the figures over a period of time. Good luck to the locals in fighting the closure. lionheart
  • Score: 1

1:39pm Fri 16 May 14

Tuning says...

From the sidelines wrote:
Get this, people; banks owe you nothing. They owe your MP nothing. Try and understand how business works. Please.
Well actually I think you will find that RBS (which owns Natwest) still owe billions to the british taxpayer after we bailed them out 6 years ago. So a little bit more than nothing!
[quote][p][bold]From the sidelines[/bold] wrote: Get this, people; banks owe you nothing. They owe your MP nothing. Try and understand how business works. Please.[/p][/quote]Well actually I think you will find that RBS (which owns Natwest) still owe billions to the british taxpayer after we bailed them out 6 years ago. So a little bit more than nothing! Tuning
  • Score: 2

7:14pm Fri 16 May 14

Donald2000 says...

From the sidelines wrote:
Get this, people; banks owe you nothing. They owe your MP nothing. Try and understand how business works. Please.
Where were you when the banks were bailed out to the tune of £375BN?

Your comment is pretty obviously garbage and you have a very strange grasp of finance. Try and understand how business works...now you do the same.
[quote][p][bold]From the sidelines[/bold] wrote: Get this, people; banks owe you nothing. They owe your MP nothing. Try and understand how business works. Please.[/p][/quote]Where were you when the banks were bailed out to the tune of £375BN? Your comment is pretty obviously garbage and you have a very strange grasp of finance. Try and understand how business works...now you do the same. Donald2000
  • Score: 0

11:36pm Fri 16 May 14

befriendly says...

The only people who'd use that bank regularly are the shops depositing their takings. We have a three day bank near us and I rarely see anyone in it, but the cash outside has a steady stream of users. Apart from depositing money you rarely need a bank these days. When I moved this way from london I went to change my bank account to a local branch and they said it doesn't matter where your account is based and just to leave things as they were. I did change banks not long after to get a better deal. Now paying 120 a year for my account, but saving over 250 a year on insurances. Shop around.
The only people who'd use that bank regularly are the shops depositing their takings. We have a three day bank near us and I rarely see anyone in it, but the cash outside has a steady stream of users. Apart from depositing money you rarely need a bank these days. When I moved this way from london I went to change my bank account to a local branch and they said it doesn't matter where your account is based and just to leave things as they were. I did change banks not long after to get a better deal. Now paying 120 a year for my account, but saving over 250 a year on insurances. Shop around. befriendly
  • Score: 0

6:05am Sat 17 May 14

issacchunt says...

Like most politicians at this time of year he's been stood waiting for a band wagon to jump on. Photo in local rag- job done. He knows he'll make no difference, its closing much like his short stay as an MP.
Like most politicians at this time of year he's been stood waiting for a band wagon to jump on. Photo in local rag- job done. He knows he'll make no difference, its closing much like his short stay as an MP. issacchunt
  • Score: 0

9:19am Sat 17 May 14

userds5050 says...

From the sidelines wrote:
Get this, people; banks owe you nothing. They owe your MP nothing. Try and understand how business works. Please.
Er, they do. If everyone was to take their money out they wouldn't have a business. If Natwest do shut the Fair Oak branch, everyone who used it should shut their accounts & open with a bank who do have a branch in the village.
[quote][p][bold]From the sidelines[/bold] wrote: Get this, people; banks owe you nothing. They owe your MP nothing. Try and understand how business works. Please.[/p][/quote]Er, they do. If everyone was to take their money out they wouldn't have a business. If Natwest do shut the Fair Oak branch, everyone who used it should shut their accounts & open with a bank who do have a branch in the village. userds5050
  • Score: 0

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