Royal Bank of Scotland to close a fifth of branches with 100 jobs at risk

The Bank announced 18 of its 86 local branches have been earmarked for closure.

More than 100 jobs at the Royal Bank of Scotland are at risk as it announced the closure of one in five of its branches.

RBS confirmed that 105 people would be impacted by the closures as 18 of its 86 local branches across the country shut within months.

The Bank, owned by NatWest – a third of which is publicly owned, pointed to the rise of digital services, saying 80% of its active current account holders now bank online and more than 97% of its retail accounts are opened over the internet.

RBS employs around 10,000 people in Scotland.

Unite the union said the announcement was a “massive blow” to the workforce and communities around Scotland.

A spokesperson for the Bank told STV News that RBS was committed to supporting those affected in what were described as “exceptionally difficult times”.

The Bank said redundancies would be done on a voluntary basis where possible but otherwise it would seek to support those who lose their jobs.

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Esther O’Hara, Unite industrial officer said: “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.

“It remains a bank which the taxpayer still owns by around 35% yet there is very little return for the public and no regard for the workforce and the customers the bank is supposed to serve.”

RBS said there would be no further closures of branches until 2026. The Bank also has plans for a £2.5m new flagship branch in Inverness in the Eastgate Shopping Centre, at Falcon Square.

“Our customers are using digital banking more than ever before – over 80% of our active current account holders now use our digital services and over 97% of retail accounts with us are now opened online,” a spokesperson said.

“While we are increasingly engaging our customers digitally, our branch network remains important to us. We commit to no further review of our Royal Bank of Scotland branch network until at least 2026.”

The Bank said digital banking has allowed the overwhelming majority of our individual and business customers, including the elderly and vulnerable, to access services

“But we know that a small number of people are not yet comfortable with it, which is why we are proactively reaching out to support them with this transition, having made over 200,000 calls last year. We also have experts that they can speak to for support and guidance.”

RBS said it is investing around £10.5m in its network across Scotland as well as continuining to invest in “shared solutions” like the Post Office and banking hubs.

Which RBS branches are closing?

Aberdeen St. Nicholas
Cumbernauld Tay Walk 
Dundee Kingsway Circus
East Kilbride
Edinburgh Bruntsfield
Edinburgh Leith
Edinburgh Nicolson Street
Glasgow Cardonald
Glasgow Charing Cross West
Glasgow Rutherglen West
Inverness Chief Office
Inverness Eastgate
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RBS branches to close in September
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