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NatWest “Closed 'till Further Notice” ?

Tuesday 7 December 2010, 14:34
By John Smith

NatWest bank, South StreetNatWest Bank is adorned by a notice advising that it is closed. At least I was advised last night that it said "Closed till further notice". Like any responsible NatWest account holder I was very concerned that Wincanton, albeit a growing town, had lost a major bank from our High Street.

Thankfully this is not the case. NatWest has suffered a major plumbing leak with burst pipe(s) and all the resultant damage such as ceilings, floors etc. I am sorely tempted to cheer, but as I have suffered the same problem myself I will hold back the laughter.

Instead I will say a huge thank you to NatWest for the very clear instructions that tell us all to go to their Castle Cary branch until this issue has been resolved. I have to say that, having been a client of NatWest for more than 30 years I would have expected more detailed information to help local clients with any financial dealings that they may require on a day to day basis till this crisis is over. Please do correct me if I am wrong on the following points.

  1. Closure noticeWith your usual NatWest debit card, or even MasterCard (though not recommended because of the charges) you can still use the NatWest "Hole in the Wall" for cash withdrawals. Indeed you can also use any of the other banks' cash point machines. I have been using Lloyds ATM for the last 12 months quite successfully. I believe that the ATM outside NatWest is also out of action, but that leaves the other High Street banks and the ATM's at Morrison's.
  2. I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that you can pay in money using your normal pay-in slips at any other bank too.

So, whilst it may be a bit more hassle, I think that you can manage most things by using our local banks. It would have been nice if NatWest had told us this. But, if I am wrong, I hope someone will put me right.

My biggest gripe is that when our banks have a problem we, the mere clients, are left stranded with very poor information. When we want to ring someone to enquire what the problem is, we have to ring the dreaded central 0845 number where you get a well meaning person who is pretty much clueless as to the important issue. They seem incapable of handing you to someone who actually cares about you, the client.

Come on NatWest. Get your act together. Your clients deserve to be treated better than this, and given better information.

If I do have some of my information wrong, please let me know so that we can have The Window publish the facts for all concerned. If anyone else out there has information or comments to add, this is the place to do it. Log on to the Window and comment on this article, or submit your own. It's worth it. Spread the word.

John Smith
Chairman, Wincanton Businesses Together
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Comments

johnsmith
Posts: 3
Comment
NatWest - Closed till further notice??
Reply #1 on : Wed December 08, 2010, 15:04:23
I am pleased to say that I have now had a call from one of our local NatWest tellers to confirm that the closure is definitely not permanent. She confirmed that they had a major flood and that ceilings, electrics and carpets are having to be sorted. Work is underway and will go on throughout the weekend.

The goal is to open for business on Monday morning, but this will depend on how the work progresses.

I confirm that NatWest clients can use any of the cash machines in town (that is, if they are working). Rumour has it that NatWest machines at South Street and Morison's are either empty or broken. Can anyone else confirm this?

I was also told that you can indeed use any other bank in town to deposit money into your NatWest account.

However, (Major, BIG HOWEVER)

If you decide to do this it is vary possibel that you will be charged for this service. I believe that NatWest would charge circa £10 if you deposited money for any other bank other than NatWest. So other banks may well have the same sort of charing system.

I'm not sure if that is advisable. I suggest waiting till Monday and service back to normal.

NatWest will post an update on the door tomorrow (Thursday) and keep me in the picture so we can update this article.
johnsmith
Posts: 3
Comment
NatWest - Closed till further notice!!
Reply #2 on : Wed December 15, 2010, 16:31:57
Well, the new notice went up on the big front doors,but sadly it only toes the party Line with no real thought to the convenience of their customers. In fact I would go as far as to say that this issue seems only to cause great inconvenience to NatWest clients. How long will they put up with this before deserting to other banks?

If the Branch is to be closed for a reasonable period of time, why can't they allow their clients to put payment slips through the bank door in envelopes. A member of staff can then take them to the Castle Cary branch to be put onto the system. There is still no mention that clients can use two other cash machines within 100 yards of NatWest Wincanton.

Common NatWest get a grip. Your current clients deserve much better treatment than this. Clients are important. Without them NatWest would close permanently.

You also said that you would let me have an update to publish in The Wincanton Window. What happened? I'm waiting patiently.
johnsmith
Posts: 3
Comment
Well I never! NatWest is open for business.
Reply #3 on : Thu December 16, 2010, 15:04:26
I am hearing the cheering crowds of devoted NatWest followers as they flock to their local Wincanton branch to overcome the appauling withdrawall (horrid pun) symptoms. I should declare that I have had my personal accounts at NatWest for at least 30 years. But as you are already aware, this has not stopped me from writing about the complete lack of care for their Wincanton clients.

The sum total of NatWest Wincanton client care has been the appearance of notices on the front door advising that the nearest cash points and bank facilities can be found at Castle Cary. We have already shown that this was not the case.

Apart from one phone call from a nice young lady (one of our local tellers) to advise me that major work was being undertaken, NatWest have done nothing whatsoever to make life any easier for their Wincanton clients. Please do correct me if I am wrong.

This is NatWest one of the biggest banks in the UK who's profits of late have been dwarfed by most Wincanton High Street traders. This is the bank that has spent countless thousands of pounds to make it look really good to the investing public by telling us all, in the media that.....

"We are committed to becomming Britain's most Helpful Bank".

Oh dear! What happened NatWest? What went wrong? Before you jump on the flood as being the problem, that doesn't work. This isn't the first problem you ever had, and I am sure it won't be the last. The problem isn't the issues that crop up. The problem is.....what will you do when they do happen.

All businesses look good to everyone when they are cruising and doing OK. The mark of a "Good" business is what they do when things go wrong.

How do you think you performed NatWest? I am sure that a lot of Wincanton clients would be interested to hear what you have to say about this one. I suspect that this could be a major problem for NatWest, because, to date, I perceive that NatWest's problem is that it doesn't want to speak to it's clients in any meaningful way.

Who knows. Maybe NatWest will feel guilty enough to send in a considered reply. Now that would be a first.......maybe.

At least WBT tried to help by posting advice in The Window. It's a shame that NatWest didn't.

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