Royal Bank of Scotland has joined Lloyds Banking Group in doing its bit to ruin Christmas for front-line facing staff, announcing plans to kill off 259 branches and lay off 680 staff.
The closure of a quarter of the RBS branch network is a response to dwindling customer footfall. The bank says that the number of customers using branches has fallen by 40% over the past three years, while mobile transactions have increased by 73%.
RBS has told 1000 staff that their jobs are at risk but that it expects many to be redeployed resulting in a total job loss figure of 680.
An RBS spokesperson says the branches lined up for the axe will pull down their shutters in six months time, "in order to ensure our customers have time to consider the right banking options for them".
This latest announcement comes on top of previous RBS branch closure programmes which resulted in over 500 branches being lost.
The news from RBS comes just days after Lloyds Banking Group announced plans to close another 49 branches with the loss of 99 jobs.
Labour union Unite has accused RBS of betraying local communities.
Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer says: “The Royal Bank of Scotland has decided to decimate its bank branch network. Now serious questions need to be asked about whether these closures mark the end of branch network banking. This announcement will forever change the face of banking in this country."