NatWest (LSE: NWBD) is to extend its Welsh Service with the launch of a mobile bank in South Wales. The mobile bank is aimed at providing a number of remote and deprived areas with direct access to face-to-face banking facilities
The new South Wales NatWest mobile bank follows the success of NatWest's Cornish mobile bank, which was launched last year and is a further sign of NatWest's commitment to rural communities.
Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain, said: "Access to banking services is a major concern for those living in remote areas, particularly older people and those on low incomes. I am therefore pleased to see NatWest launching a mobile bank in South Wales, providing people with banking facilities they would otherwise not have."
He continued: "NatWest's recent decision to install 50 new free to use cash machines in some of the more deprived Welsh communities was also a major step. Of course banks have to move with the times, but we also need to guard against financial exclusion. I applaud the work that NatWest is doing to address this problem and to help those for whom access to financial services is a lifeline."
The mobile bank, which will be fully accessible for people with disabilities, is set to hit the road on 30th October and will run every weekday with routes that will cover areas around Bridgend, Caerphilly, Neath, Port Talbot, Rhondda and Powys. Scheduled routes and times will allow customers to plan ahead and these routes will be reviewed regularly to reflect customer demand. Customers will be able to carry out a range of personal banking services onboard and the mobile bank has been custom-made to be fully Disability Discrimination Act- compliant. Facilities include a wheelchair lift and an audio induction loop, which will benefit those who use hearing aids.
The NatWest mobile banks have built on the popularity of the 14 well-established mobile banks provided by NatWest's fellow RBS Group business, Royal Bank of Scotland, north of the border - a service that has been running since 1946.
Helen Page, NatWest Marketing Director, said: "There continues to be a need for greater access in remote and deprived areas and we are committed to improving services for people in these communities. The new mobile bank in South Wales will complement our strong traditional branch network in the area. It's our aim to deliver outstanding service to our customers and this is just one more way in which we will be able to do this."