A new Oxford branch of troubled bank Northern Rock has escaped the stampede of customers that has plagued virtually every other branch in the country.

And the new "cashless" bank - which cannot help people wanting to take out money although it can take deposits from savers - may have escaped the rush of desperate people withdrawing their savings because nobody knew it was there.

One member of staff at the High Street branch, which opened on August 28, said: "It's been quiet. I'm sure not everyone knows we are here yet."

Northern Rock opened the branch near Carfax just two weeks before the company was plunged into the financial crisis that has seen branches besieged by thousands of savers, desperate to get their money out.

The Government has now guaranteed the savings of all customers at the bank - but some Oxfordshire customers said they were not concerned in any case.

Victoria Frazer-Smith, of North Oxford, said: "We are not worried at all. Because we have got a mortgage with them, we owe them money and I am sure even if Northern Rock does go bust and disappear altogether, our mortgage won't and in fact would be taken on by another financial institution - hopefully at the same rate of interest."

And Annette Nix, of Kidlington, said: "It would be the same either way. We would still have to pay it, but I can understand why some other people will be shopping around. However, we are not going to bother. The only thing that is a concern is whether or not it's going to affect our interest rates."

The new Oxford branch was part of a plan to open up a network of 100 "new style branches" dealing with people looking for loans.

It has been totally refitted with private interview rooms for customers seeking mortgages, loans and savings products.

Anybody turning up at the office hoping to make a withdrawal quickly learned the branch was a specialist centre for mortgage and personal loan customers.

But few new businesses to have opened in the High Street can have had more inauspicious starts, with a marked lack of customers this week seeking to take advantage of the range of "savings deals."

Branch manager Tom Worden declined to comment on how busy the branch had been since it opened.

The premises have previously been used as a watchmakers, a robe-makers, men's hosiers, a cafe, a wine merchants and more recently as an employment bureau.