NatWest Newhaven closure a 'bitter blow'

An MP has criticised a bank's decision to close a branch in an East Sussex town, calling it a "bitter blow".

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, has written to the chief executive of parent group RBS about its decision to close NatWest in Newhaven.

He said customers would now have to make a six-mile (9km) round-trip to the nearest branch in Peacehaven.

The bank said it would keep an ATM in the town but demand for the face-to-face service had been falling.

Mr Baker said: "NatWest's decision to close its branch is a further bitter blow, and I really do question its decision.

"It is ridiculous to expect the elderly and local businesses to take a six-mile round-trip to speak to an advisor face-to-face."

Newhaven mayor Steve Saunders said: "It's a really disappointing and surprising decision the bank appears to have made."

In a statement, NatWest said many customers were using alternative methods of banking such as online and telephone services.

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