Worthing high street bank to close as part of countrywide cuts

Worthing is set to lose another high street bank as Santander prepares to close dozens of its branches across the country.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 11:05 am
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 11:56 am

The Spanish giant announced today (March 25) West Worthing’s branch in Goring Road will close for good on July 15, 2021.

The bank said it will close 111 branches by the end of August in response to the ongoing shift by customers towards mobile and online banking – a long-term trend accelerated by the pandemic.

A spokesman for Santander said branch transactions fell by 33 per cent over the two years before the pandemic and declined by a further 50 per cent in 2020.

Goring Road Santander. Pic: Google SUS-210325-105726001

Mobile and online transactions have been growing by 20 per cent each year, the spokesman said, with almost two thirds of overall transactions now digital.

The majority of the closing branches are less than three miles from another Santander branch, the spokesman added, and the furthest distance is five miles.

All are within half a mile of at least two free-to-use ATMs and one mile of the nearest Post Office.

Worthing’s Chapel Road Santander is 1.6 miles away from the Goring Road branch.

The company said it had consulted trade unions on the closures and expects to be able to find alternative roles for a significant number of the employees who wish to stay with the bank.

Adam Bishop, head of branches, said: “Branch usage by customers has fallen considerably over recent years so we have made the difficult decision to consolidate our presence in areas where we have multiple branches relatively close together. The majority of the closing branches are within three miles of another branch and the furthest is five miles away.

“We will provide every support to customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs. We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles for those impacted wherever possible. We continue to believe that branches have an important role to play and we expect the size of our network to remain stable for the foreseeable future.

“We are committed to supporting our customers and responding to changes in the way customers want to access services.”

Santander will retain a network of 452 branches following the proposed changes. All Santander current and business account holders can also bank using one of over 11,000 Post Office branches nationwide.

The spokesman said Santander will carry out a programme of activities to support customers of closing branches to find other ways to bank that best suit their needs, including help to find alternative branches and access digital, telephone and Post Office banking services. This will include proactively contacting potentially vulnerable customers by phone to provide individual support.

A dedicated phone number is available to provide customers with help and information on the closures (0800 085 0879). The bank will also hold a series of online events over the coming months where a member of Santander’s branch team will explain alternative ways to bank and the tools and support available.

Santander is the latest in a long line of banks to close in Worthing. Read more here