A Croydon neighbourhood with a “village” feel has been left without a bank on its high street, meaning there is “one less reason” for shoppers to visit. 

NatWest closed its branch in Lower Addiscombe Road in January and was the third bank to close its doors in recent years.

Its closure was a “blow” to the high street, with people now having to head into Croydon town centre two miles away for the nearest bank.

People working in the area told the Local Democracy Reporting Service they think  a proper high street needs a bank to draw more people in.

Your Local Guardian: Addiscombe is a busy high street but is now missing a bankAddiscombe is a busy high street but is now missing a bank

Brothers Robert and Colin Harman have run Addiscombe Security since 1985.

Robert said: “I personally think a high street isn’t a high street if it hasn’t got a bank. There is a loss of people traffic.

“The high street has changed a lot since 1985, we had all sorts of shops then.

"It is nice to see it open and used but we’ve not got the variation here, we’ve got betting shops, food shops and hairdressers.”

Your Local Guardian: The former NatWest building is now for saleThe former NatWest building is now for sale

While Colin added: “Addiscombe has a village type feel with lots of shops but it could do with another pub really and there aren’t many eat in restaurants so some different food places would be nice.”

Local councillor, Sean Fitzsimons, agreed saying the loss of a bank is “one less reason” for people to visit Addiscombe but said it is still a popular high street for locals.

He said: “Addiscombe high street is still doing better than many, but this was a blow. We have a nice range of shops and cafés, but having a bank was an extra draw.

“We have lost all our banks over the last few years, Barclays, Santander and now NatWest. One less reason for some to visit the high street.”

Paul Singh from Gordon’s Toys in the high street said: “The bank closing is very bad for the high street. I used to go and do my banking there, I live in Hayes and I have to do my banking on the way home now.

“Now 100 per cent of people pay with card, even for £1.50. Sometimes children come in and don’t have any ash to have to come back with their mum.”

Lana, 56, who works in a charity shop in Lower Addiscombe Road, said: “I would say it has affected the older generation. They had a tendency to draw out cash and shop with cash, they have been forced to pay by card.

The owner of the Claret and Ale pub, Charles Read, was also concerned about the impact of closing banks on the area’s elderly population.

He added: “It is wonderful that we have a high street at all with very few empty shops, there is a nice community feel here and it is safe. It is a nice high street but it lacks sophistication it could do with some exotic shops and delis.”

Cat Rowan who works at Filtr coffee shop said she has heard customers talking about the loss of banks on the high street. She said: “In general so many banks have closed so people have to go really far to do their banking. There used to be a Halifax in Croydon town centre now there is only one close to West Croydon and people aren’t necessarily feeling safe withdrawing their money there.”

Despite the loss of banks, Cat says Addiscombe is still a busy high street.

She added: “It feels like a little community, it is really nice and we have an okay mix of shops, there is a greengrocers and a fishmongers.

"Everyone I see lives or works round here.”

When NatWest announced its closure in Addiscombe in October 2022 it said customer transactions at the bank had decreased by 64 per cent in the past three years and claimed the branch was used by just four personal customers on a regular basis.

NatWest’s former home at 209 Lower Addiscombe Road is currently on the market for £590,000.