Workmen pull branding off ATMs as three Northampton Nationwides shut their doors for good
Three Nationwide branches across Northampton have shut their doors for the last time.
At 3pm today (October 18), three branches of the building society set in neighbourhoods across the town closed for good.
Work crews were on hand even before the 3pm deadline to pull the cladding off of the cash machines and make it clear the banks were not open for business.
It comes as Nationwide prepares to open a new, modernised "Northampton central" bank on Abington Street in the town centre on Monday (October 21).
But outside the three neighbourhood branches, customers were upset to see their local banks close in St Leonard's Road, Weedon Road and Kingsley Park Terrace.
The Chronicle and Echo spoke to customers as they left the branch in St James End.
"It's just a nuisance," said one woman. "I think it's very, very bad and a lot of people are worried about it, especially elderly people.
"People are worried about going into town to get cash out or use their savings book. Not everyone can use online services you know."
"They just don't care about us old age pensioners," said one 69-year-old man. "I've got a bus pass but that's not the point. I've got to go right into town to get anything done. Why should I have to use computers if I don't want to?"
In the space of an hour this afternoon, over 60 customers arrived to take cash out or use the building society.
Many who spoke to the Chron did not know it was closing until today, although a notice is displayed in the bank's window.
Meanwhile, St Leonard's Road, in Far Cotton, and Kingsley Park Terrace, in Kingsley, now have no nearby banks at all. Kingsley Park Terrace, which is home to dozens of houses and local businesses, is now served by a single cash machine.
"I've got to go all the way into town just to come back and shop here," one customer told the Chron. "But I'm almost used to things closing now."
Nationwide claim the three branches are underused and have seen a drop in footfall, and say the smaller space means customers are less comfortable to talk about their money.
The new branch opening on Monday comes after the bank closed and moved from its site in the Drapery to Abington Street.
Mandy Beech, member experience director at Nationwide Building Society, said: “We recognise the changing needs of members and the ways in which we can help them, and by rolling out this design we believe we’re able to offer a better member experience.
"We also know how important a thriving high street is for the community, and to underline our commitment we recently promised to not leave any town or city, where we are currently based, without a branch until at least May 2021.”