NatWest unveil new-look branch
ONLINE banking may still be increasing in popularity, but NatWest International have just spent £2.4m redesigning their two physical branches in St Helier.
Last week Assistant Chief Minister Andrew Green, officially re-opened the flagship branch at Library Place, now equipped with state-of-the-art machines designed to make banking easy for those still visiting their branch. In the case of customers trying to get rid of small change and coins accumulated in a piggy bank at home, there is still not much alternative to visiting a branch, so Library Place is equipped with the latest ‘coin-in’ machines which makes the process quick and easy. The machine automatically counts coins and lets the customer deposit them free of charge.
That machine is one of several along the branch’s automated wall which includes cash deposit and cheque deposit and for businesses there is a quick deposit machine. This provides easy, automated deposit of business takings brought into the branch in a bespoke bag.
NatWest International’s head of retail banking Alan Weir, said that the aim is to give customers choice and they will still be able to talk to a friendly member of staff. Staff will be on hand to assist with the machines, if necessary, but the aim is to give people visiting the branch the option of automation as well as easier conversations with one of the teller team or a customer relations specialist. There is also an iPad area where customers can log on to online banking.
‘Across the whole of the UK, our branch footfall has reduced by 40% at the same time as online activations have increased by 41% and mobile activations increased by a staggering 73%,’ he said. ‘We need to react to that but also understand that customers still want to speak to someone about more complex matters, and we’ve got to get the balance right.’
Their redesigned branch in Bath Street also features a digital lounge, where they will be offering guidance on how to avoid frauds and scams.
The newly designed branches represent a welcome investment in the Island by NatWest International, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group, Assistant Chief Minister Andrew Green said at the opening of the Library Place branch.
There has been a bank on the site since the 19th century and NatWest has become well-known in the Island, not just for banking but also for its community activities, Deputy Green said. ‘This branch will not only be a flagship for the group, but also show others how to do it.’