14th Nov 2019
NatWest is set to axe paper statements from the start of 2020, meaning that customers will have to look at their digital statements online.
However, there is a loophole – customers can alter their statement settings online in order to continue to receive paper statements if they wish to do so, with the bank clarifying that there would be no charge for this service.
NatWest said that the changes were “about adapting to the digital age”, although Guy Anker, Managing Editor at consumer group Money Saving Expert, told the Daily Mail Online that “online statements save banks money – so encouraging customers to go paperless is in their best financial interests.”
Anker also pointed out that some consumers who are less internet savvy would find the shift towards online statements tricky, although he highlighted that others find paper statements “unnecessary”, and that “saving on paper is good for the environment – and even with paperless statements you can still print out the pages if you want to.”
NatWest is not the first high street bank to increasingly push digital statements over their paper counterparts. HSBC customers who join the bank are automatically signed up to receive online statements, although they can receive paper ones if they wish, while Lloyds automatically puts statements online for new account holders, although customers can opt out.
Lloyds told the Daily Mail Online that paperless statements are “a secure and convenient way to cut down on your filing and to find the information in one central place – to view, print and download when needed,” while HSBC said that customers are automatically signed up to online statements “for their convenience”.