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Royal Bank Of Scotland To Close 18 Branches And Cut 105 Jobs

Victoria London England UK

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced plans to close 18 of its 86 branches across Scotland, reducing 105 jobs. 

This decision will decrease its network to 69 branches in the region. 

Despite the closures, RBS has committed to investing over £10 million in the remaining branches and has assured that there will be no further closures until at least 2026.

The branches slated for closure include locations in major cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow and smaller towns such as Bathgate, East Kilbride, and Helensburgh. 

Additionally, RBS plans to consolidate and transform two branches in Inverness into a single flagship branch.

RBS attributed the closures to a significant shift towards digital banking, noting that over 80 percent of their active current account holders now utilize digital services. 

The bank is responding to what it describes as an "industry-wide shift" towards online banking and is enhancing its digital platforms accordingly.

An RBS spokesperson said: "While we are increasingly engaging our customers digitally, our branch network remains important to us.

"We are also significantly investing in refreshing our network – we are investing £10.5m in our network across Scotland, from 2023-24, as well as continuing to invest in shared solutions like the Post Office and banking hubs.

"Our customers appreciate the speed and convenience of digital banking for everyday transactions, and often, when it comes to making bigger, more complex decisions they value speaking to our skilled and experienced colleagues."

The spokesperson mentioned that more than 97 percent of RBS's retail accounts are now opened online.

This wave of closures is part of a broader trend in Scotland, where the number of bank branches has dramatically decreased. 

Since 2015, Scotland has lost over 60 percent of its bank branches, leaving only 404 operational as of December 2023.

Labor unions have criticised the announcement, with Unite expressing concern over its impact on employees and rural communities. 

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Esther O'Hara, Unite the union's industrial officer, called the move "another massive blow to this loyal workforce and the communities the bank serve."

She said: "Many of these banks are situated in rural and remote communities where RBS customers rely on this vital service.

"The proposed closures come off the back of RBS closures elsewhere in the UK and we fear this latest announcement is just another stage in the phasing out of banks from our nation's streets in the race to make all banking operations digital which is not suitable or accessible for many customers."

Unite is advocating for no compulsory redundancies as the closures take effect.

The branch closures, scheduled for September, include:

  • Aberdeen St Nicholas
  • Bathgate
  • Cumbernauld Tay Walk
  • Dundee Kingsway Circus
  • East Kilbride
  • Edinburgh Bruntsfield
  • Edinburgh Leith
  • Edinburgh Nicolson Street
  • Glasgow Cardonald
  • Glasgow Charing Cross West
  • Glasgow Rutherglen West
  • Helensburgh
  • Inverness Chief Office
  • Inverness Eastgate
  • Largs
  • New Deer
  • Newbridge
  • Wishaw

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