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Royal Bank of Scotland axes 162 branches in England and Wales with loss of 800 jobs
- RBS is to close 162 branches in England and Wales, resulting in 792 jobs lost
- Bosses say a change in consumer behaviour has led to a decline in footfall
- 109 branches will close in late July and August 2018, and 53 more in November
- Bank says there are too many branches in close proximity to NatWest branches
The Royal Bank of Scotland is to cut around 792 jobs and close 162 branches after bosses decided there were too many near to branches of sister bank NatWest.
The bank decided that many of its branches are too close to one another and a change in consumer behaviors has led to a severe decline in footfall – meaning so many branches redundant.
‘We realise this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected,’ the bank said in a statement.
Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland is to cut around 792 jobs and close 162 branches following a review of its branch network in England and Wales. Bosses say a change in consumer behaviour has led to a decline in footfall thus overlapping branches have become redundant
‘We will ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to an absolute minimum,’ it continued.
The lender, still 72 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said the move was linked to its decision not to sell its Williams & Glyn business, which controls NatWest.
As a result, the group has RBS and NatWest branches in close proximity to one another and is seeking to reduce overlap, as customers are able to use both banks for the same services.
RBS said: ‘Following a review of the branch network in England and Wales a decision has been taken to close 162 Royal Bank of Scotland branches.
‘As a result of this process, around 792 roles will be made redundant, and we will seek to support our colleagues with the option to leave on a voluntary basis.’
The closures come as RBS reintegrates Williams & Glyn, including its branch network, back into the core bank.
A total of 109 branches will close in late July and August 2018. These branches are within 0.6 miles of another Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest branch.
An RBS spokesperson said: ‘We are no longer launching Williams & Glyn as a challenger bank, and we now have two branch networks operating in close proximity to each other – NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland – in England & Wales’
A further 53 branches will close in November 2018, all of which are between 0.6 and 2.5 miles of another Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest branch.
An RBS spokesperson said: ‘Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland in England & Wales will be able to use NatWest branches instead for their everyday banking needs.
‘We now provide our customers with more ways to bank with us than ever before – customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options to suit their needs.’
Unions roundly condemned the move, according to the Mirror.
Rob MacGregor Unite national officer said: ‘How does a taxpayer funded institution spend £1.8 billion on a failed IT project and in the next breath demolish the much needed local bank branches?
‘Today nearly 1,000 employees have finally been told of their dark futures because the bank has been calamitously managed for too long.’
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