Former Wigan bank to go under the hammer

The former bank on Market Street
The former bank on Market Street

A former Wigan bank building has been put up for auction eight months after its controversial closure.

The Hindley branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to go up for sale at Pugh’s next North West property auction.

In September 2018, RBS bosses announced the closure of the Hindley, Standish, Parbold, Pemberton, Atherton and Leigh branches, resulting in dozens of job losses.

The 3,000 sq ft, two-storey bank property, which was located on Market Street, is now being auctioned at The AJ Bell Stadium on June 4 with a guide price of £90,000.

Paul Thompson, managing director of auction house Pugh, said: “This is a handsome period property on a busy shopping street and has good potential for redevelopment, subject to the buyer obtaining planning consent.

“Now that the majority of banking transactions are carried out online or on mobile, RBS, along with our other retail bank clients, is reassessing its high street property assets.

“As a result some unique, interesting and sometimes historic properties are coming on to the market with lots of possibilities for new and imaginative uses.”

The shock news of the closure caused outrage among unions when it was announced back in September 2018.

Bank bosses put the decision down to not launching the Williams & Glynn brand as a ‘challenger bank’, leaving RBS and NatWest sites they owned in close proximity to each other.

At the time, union leaders condemned the move, which was part of a closure programme affecting 54 locations, calling it “utterly disgusting”.

An estimated 250 jobs were lost nationwide. This was on top of almost 800 job losses resulted from the closure of 126 branches in 2017.

In September, the bank claimed that branch transactions had dropped by 30 per cent, compared to a 53 per cent increase in mobile banking.