RBS to close 158 branches

RBS to close 158 branches

Royal Bank of Scotland is closing another 158 UK branches, with the loss of hundreds of jobs, citing the "dramatic shift" in how people bank in the age of mobile and online services.

The bank - majority owned by the UK taxpayer - says that it will close 30 RBS and 128 NatWest branches over the next few months, resulting in the net loss of about 360 jobs.

A statement says that the decision has been made "after careful consideration of a wide range of factors including regular branch usage and the alternative ways our customers can bank with us".

The number of basic transactions carried out at NatWest and RBS branches has fallen by 43% since 2010, while the number completed through mobile and online channels has soared by 400%.

Says the statement: "As customers change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them. The role of the branch is fast moving to a centre for advice, away from basic transactions. While the branch will still be a core part of our offering to customers, inevitably some branches will have to close."

The closures were signalled last month when RBS pledged to take out a further £750 million in operating costs over the next year and £2.5 billion over the next four years after reporting widening losses, its ninth-successive year without a profit. At the time, chief executive Ross McEwan stressed that a fifth of customers now solely use mobile and digital channels to interact with the bank.

RBS is far from the only UK bank reducing the size of its branch network. HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and others have all been making similar moves, leading to the closure of more than 1000 sites over the last two years.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 23 March, 2017, 16:24Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Until retail banks can determine the core function and value of branches we will see further and further decline. It would be interesting to see what metrics the banks are using to determine how many and where to close as it cant just be a case of footfall...those branches in a number of places less cosmopolitan could prove most valuable but suspect these are the ones that are closing. Its a tough decision either way but it would be good to see the banks work together on this one as there should be at least one functioning high street branch within x mile radius of most people

João Bohner
João Bohner - Independent Consultant - Carapicuiba 23 March, 2017, 16:59Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes



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