Unite, the UK’s biggest union, will kick start a campaign tomorrow (Wednesday 30 May) outside the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) head office in Manchester against the planned closure of 64 branches across the north west.
Unite is calling on communities, pensioners, activists, RBS staff and customers to come along to a demonstration at RBS head office, Spinningfields Square, 1 Quay Street, Manchester M3 3AP on Wednesday 30 May at 12:30 to let
RBS bosses know that people in this region are strongly opposed to the damaging widespread closures.
The north west region is one of the biggest impacted with 64 branches closing, with 430 members of staff impacted, while there are 98 further closures earmarked throughout the rest of England and Wales resulting in a total of 925 possible job losses overall.
Affected branches will close their doors in two tranches, the first in July and August 2018 with the remainder closing in October and November 2018.
The campaign launch coincides with a Unite demonstration set to take place outside the RBS annual general meeting in Gogaburn, Edinburgh on Wednesday 30 May at 12:30 over closures.
Unite regional officer John Nolan said: “RBS’ latest decision to take the axe to 64 branches across the region is an act of corporate vandalism. They are decimating hundreds of jobs, ripping the heart out of communities and disenfranchising customers from being able to access all but the most basic of banking services.
“We need RBS to support customers and local communities, not abandon them.
“State-owned RBS have wasted £1.8 billion of tax payers’ money failing to set up Williams and Glyn as a small challenger bank and no one has been held to account for this.
“We are hoping businesses, MPs and local people join our campaign and support the demonstration in Manchester on Wednesday to send a strong message to RBS bosses that we will not stand for these disastrous closure plans.”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has already said: “High street bank closures have become an epidemic in the last few years, blighting our town centres, and hurting particularly elderly and more vulnerable customers whilst making healthy profits. It’s time our banks recognise instead that they are a utility providing an essential public service.
“Only Labour will put in place the legal obligations needed to bring banks into line and stand up for our high streets, communities and small businesses.”