Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

RBS and NatWest to close 259 branches

RBS and NatWest to close 259 branches

A spokesman said it was "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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With 197 Natwest and 62 RBS outlets about to close, Jane Howards, its managing director of branch banking, acknowledged that some customers would be "really disappointed".

The bank is the third this week to announce branch closures and job cuts, following Lloyds and Yorkshire Building Society.

High street banks have been cutting swathes of branches over the last few years as customers move online.

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RBS said that since 2014 the number of customers using branches had fallen by 40% and mobile transactions had increased by 73%.

"It is bad enough that people in Barra and Vatersay will be unable to have face-to-face contact with their bank, other than by possible occasional visits by a mobile van, but RBS also seem to be saying they will be withdrawing their cash machine, the only one on the island".

Natwest is closing five branches in Norfolk.

He added: "We expect these branch closures to result in around 680 redundancies".

The bank said it was seeking to manage job losses on a voluntary basis and keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum.

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"As customers continue to change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them", said an RBS spokesperson.

"Our community bankers will get to know the local community, engage with local groups and provide training and education on issues such as fraud and scams protection in the local area".

The affected branches are due to close in six months' time, "in order to ensure our customers have time to consider the right banking options for them".

The situation has sparked fears that some communities will be left without bank branches, with many still unfamiliar with online processes.

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