Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Hundreds of jobs go as 259 RBS and NatWest branches close

Hundreds of jobs go as 259 RBS and NatWest branches close

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced the closure of 259 branches, a decision that is expected to see 680 people lose their jobs.

Hawick residents will now face a 40 mile round trip to visit their bank and those living in Duns will have to travel 30 miles to Berwick and back.

The group, which remains 72% taxpayer-owned after its rescue during the financial crisis, said 62 locations in Scotland under its RBS brand would shut, as well as 197 NatWest sites in England and Wales.

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There will be a total of around 680 redundancies, RBS said.

"Since 2014 the number of customers using our branches across the United Kingdom has fallen by 40 per cent and mobile transactions have increased by 73 per cent over the same period".

"So we are investing in our more popular branches and shaping our network, replacing traditional bricks-and-mortar branches with alternative ways to bank including community bankers, mobile bank on wheels, and Post Offices, so that we can reach even more customers".

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In March RBS had already announced the closure of 158 branches with the loss of 500 jobs.

At this time it is only Scottish RBS branches that are closing but this could change in the near future. "Now serious questions need to be asked about whether these closures mark the end of branch network banking", said Unite's Rob MacGregor.

RBS ATMs don't need to be attached to an RBS branch and Post Offices also offer withdrawl and deposit services for most major United Kingdom banks. British banks are set to close a record 762 branches this year Drawing criticism for depriving customers of face-to-face services - particularly in poorer parts of the country.

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The announcement comes after the Government last week disclosed plans to dispose of about two-thirds of its stake in RBS, selling off about £15bn a year over five years from 2018/19.

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