A 2010 TV campaign by NatWest to promote its commitment to maintaining a high street presence in small communities has come back to haunt the beleaguered UK bank, as it prepares to shut down the very branch used in the advert.
In the national TV slot, a NatWest employee stands outside the branch in Knott End, Lancashire, pledging to "provide banking services forever if we're the last bank in town".
The bank now says that the village bank will close in September, following a sharp drop in transactions as customers move to online and mobile channels. The bank says traffic in the branch has slipped by 21% since 2011, and that customers can now conduct routine transactions at the local Post Office.
Reflecting the shifting sands in modern banking, the bank's more recent ads proclaim that its 'busiest branch' is now on the daily commuter train as consumers deal with their finances by mobile phone on the way into work.