Hundreds of jobs to go as RBS confirms plan to close 54 branches
Hundreds of jobs are to be axed at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) with the closure of 54 branches across England and Wales.
The branches will shut in January next year with the loss of 258 jobs, adding to the 792 job cuts and 162 branch closures already announced this year.
RBS confirmed there will be no further closures until “at least 2020” and promised to keep “compulsory redundancies […] to an absolute minimum”.
A spokesperson for the bank explained the decision: “As we are no longer launching Williams & Glyn as a challenger bank we now have two branch networks operating in close proximity to each other in England and Wales – NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.
“As a result we have reviewed our overall branch footprint in England and Wales and have made the difficult decision to close 54 Royal Bank of Scotland branches.”
The decision will leave RBS with just 54 branches in England and Wales.
Speaking further, the spokesperson said: “Customers […] will be able to use NatWest branches and local post offices for their everyday banking needs.
“We will now focus on investing in our Royal Bank network in England and Wales to make sure customers have a consistent range of products and services wherever they bank, be it Scotland, England or Wales.”
But Rob MacGregor, from the Unite union, said it is “utterly disgusting” that RBS “has the audacity to announce that yet more important local bank branches will permanently close their doors”.
Mr MacGregor said the announcement will bring further misery to communities in England and Wales that are already feeling “the demise of local banking services”.