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NatWest closed its West Norwood branch after multiple attacks on its staff in recent years, it has emerged.

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The final straw came after an incident in August in which workers were held at gunpoint. It was the seventh such incident in the last eleven years.

Dulwich and West Norwood MP Tessa Jowell described the move as a body blow for the area.

In an email to constituents, she revealed she raised her concerns with Stephen Hester, chief executive of NatWest’s parent company RBS.

She wrote: “I was saddened by the closure of NatWest Bank on Norwood Road and have been in contact with local councillors, the council cabinet member responsible, NatWest Bank and local police.

“I have also been in contact with local organisations such as The Norwood Forum.

“I was pleased that no staff from the branch would be made redundant but this whole situation is very disappointing - particularly given the real and concerted effort to regenerate West Norwood.”

A spokesman for NatWest redirected customers to its closest branch, which is on Streatham High Street.

He added: “The attack in August was the seventh such incident in the last eleven years and the decision to close was made in the interests of the safety of our customers, staff and the local community.”

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