RBS to shut down 259 branches in UK


Across the United Kingdom, 259 Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest branches are closing, resulting in 680 job losses after the state-backed lender said more people are choosing to bank online or on mobile.

The news came after the Downham branch of Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) building society closed its doors for good on Friday, following an announcement by parent company the Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) earlier in the year.

RBS hopes to limit the number of redundancies to 680 by redeploying the remaining staff.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has unveiled plans to shut down a quarter of its branches, which could result in loss of 680 jobs.

"Only one per cent of our customers in Scotland now use a branch regularly while the number of regular mobile users has increased by 39 per cent since 2015".

He said: "While we appreciate that many customers are choosing to access services digitally, and there clearly has been rapid growth of online banking at RBS in particular, there are many customers for whom this is neither a practical option, nor an option they are comfortable with, perhaps where they may be more fearful of online fraud".

An RBS spokesman said: "More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile".

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Unite's national office Rob MacGregor said: "Now serious questions need to be asked about whether these closures mark the end of branch network banking".

The Scottish government has called for a guaranteed minimum level of banking services after RBS proposed a series of branch closures.

How customers are choosing to bank, how often customers are using the branch and what transactions they are doing, the impact on customers who now use the branch, other available options, the proximity to other branches, and local transport routes and timetables are all considered before taking the decision to close a branch, he added.

"This announcement will forever change the face of banking in this country resulting in over a thousand staff losing their jobs and hundreds of high streets without any banking facilities".

Robust and quality assured technology is now, more than ever, going to be a key differentiator amongst the United Kingdom public when choosing a banking provider; and with Open Banking coming into play in early 2018, banks could see their customers selecting alternative providers as the process of switching banks becomes swifter and easier.

Following the closure next year, customers will still be able to use in-branch services in Lynn, Fakenham and Wisbech as their nearest places to bank.