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Nine bank branches to close

Natwest has announced a string of closures in the region Credit: PA

Another nine communities in the region are to lose their banks.

NatWest says it will close the branches later this year, blaming a drop of at least 30 per cent in branch business as more people do their business on the internet.

NatWest says branches in Egremont and Ulverston will close in September followed those in Ambleside, Cockermouth, Grange over Sands, Keswick, Millom and Wigton which will go in October.

It is part of a programme of 158 closures across the country which includes an RBS branch in Newton Stewart.

A spokesperson from RBS said: “We have seen a dramatic shift in the way our customers are choosing to bank, with more using mobile and online over traditional branch counters.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said NatWest is letting its customers down, particularly the elderly.

Whilst a general trend towards online banking is undeniable, Natwest must consider the specific communities that are served by the branches in Ambleside and Grange-over-Sands. There is a significant proportion of elderly residents, many of whom don’t even own a smartphone or have access to the internet. Simply switching to online and mobile banking is not an option, and could put their account security at risk if they are not comfortable using the technology. This decision lets customers down and could leave vulnerable elderly residents without access to vital bank services.

– Tim Farron MP

Stuart Hogg named as best Six Nations player

Stuart Hogg Credit: PA

Rugby star Stuart Hogg has been named Six Nations player of year - for the second time in a row.

Hogg, who is from Hawick, received nearly a quarter of the votes in the public poll.

The honour crowns an excellent Six Nations for the 24-year-old full back who was showered with praise during the tournament with one pundit describing him as “the most dangerous attacking back in the northern hemisphere”.

Hogg, who plays his club rugby with Glasgow Warriors, was selected from a shortlist of 12 outstanding players.

Last year Hogg picked up the same award with over 30 per cent of the vote.

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