COMMUNITY BANKING measures are being put in place for Saddleworth residents ahead of the closure of Uppermill’s NatWest branch this month.
On June 27 the high street branch – which is the last bank in Saddleworth – will close its doors after the banking giant said increasing numbers of people are banking online.
The ATM machine will remain, and locals can carry out banking services at post offices across Saddleworth’s villages.
And a “package of measures” is being put together for residents in readiness for the closure, which will be delivered by NatWest Community Bank Paul Geary.
They will be able to visit Mr Geary to discuss personal banking matters at sessions at various locations including Civic Hall in Uppermill and The Satellite Centre in Greenfield.
Cllr Jamie Curley, who is helping to put the sessions in place, said: “Paul has been extremely busy meeting with a wide range of community groups and individual customers.
“He has responded to many requests for help and has been arranging locations throughout Saddleworth to use as meeting points where customers can see him to discuss personal banking.
“Uppermill Civic Hall and The Satellite Centre on Wellington Road in Greenfield are the first two locations identified, with others to follow around Saddleworth.
“Currently we don’t have a schedule of timings for when these locations will be operating but this will be made available prior to the branch closure.”
A leaflet has been put together explaining the closure of the branch and what services will be available after.
Mr Geary added: “I’ve not only met with community groups and organisations but also visited sheltered accommodation to explain what is on offer and what future arrangements we may be able to put in place for elderly residents.
“I’m also looking at running a number of educational sessions for groups which will encompass fraud awareness and online banking safety.”
He added: “We have had 250 enquiries since the closure was announced and 127 complaints.
“Main themes have been people were concerned the Post Office was not an adequate alternative and the effect that the closure may have on the local community.
“In response, we have spoken to all the customers who have been concerned and explained what alternatives are available.
“In addition we have launched our mobile app and also introduced free withdrawals and deposits through the Post Office.
“We have also launched our video banking facility so customers can have a face-to-face meeting with a member of bank staff without having to leave their home.”
Business customers should have been contacted by their relationship manager to discuss arrangements. If not, they should contact their relationship manager or call 0345 114477.
Cllr Curley concluded: “If people have concerns or questions about the closure and what will be available then get in touch with Paul either by visiting the branch or via email or phone.
“Also if anyone knows of somebody who may be affected by the closure who may need help with banking such as an elderly relative then get in touch with Paul who can arrange a home visit to ensure their banking needs are taken care of.”
To contact community bank Paul Geary call 07711 764056 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org