Save our bank campaign launch

Villagers turned out in force to oppose plans to close the NatWest branch in Knott End

Villagers turned out in force to oppose plans to close the NatWest branch in Knott End

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Angry residents have today blasted a bank for breaking its promise to customers when it decided to close one of its branches.

The NatWest in Knott End was used in the company’s adverts when it vowed to “continue to provide banking services” where they were the last bank in town.

Four years later, the same branch – the only one left in the village – is set to shut its doors for good in September.

A petition to keep the branch open has attracted hundreds of signatures and a Facebook group has close to 400 members.

Lea Hornby, who works in the village, set up the petition amid fears NatWest’s decision will hit businesses hard. She said: “It will just close the village down. People will shop elsewhere. We have all worked so hard to get the village back to how it used to be and now they have just slapped us with this.”

Coun Vivien Taylor, who represents Wyreside on Lancashire County Council, said: “They were happy to come and use Knott End for their advertising. Now they are going to leave us in a vulnerable position.”

A NatWest advert from 2011 showed a clip of its Knott End branch while the voice-over said the bank would “continue to provide banking services wherever we’re the last bank in town”.

The company was rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority over the claim, which it said was misleading.