Nearly 800 jobs at risk as RBS becomes the latest bank to close branches
PUBLISHED: 13:29 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:38 01 May 2018
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is the latest bank to announce branch closures with nearly 800 jobs at risk in England and Wales.
The lender, which is 72% owed by the taxpayer, had revealed plans to close some Scottish sites last week and has now unveiled proposals to axe 162 south of the border.
Among them will be sites at Bury St Edmunds, great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.
The bank, which owns NatWest, said the move was linked to its decision not to sell its Williams & Glyn business.
As a result, the group has branches in close proximity to another and is seeking to reduce overlap.
RBS said: “Following a review of the branch network in England and Wales a decision has been taken to close 162 Royal Bank of Scotland branches.
“As a result of this process, around 792 roles will be made redundant, and we will seek to support our colleagues with the option to leave on a voluntary basis.”
A total of 109 branches will close in late July and August 2018. These branches are within 0.6 miles of another Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest branch.
A further 53 branches will close in November 2018, all of which are between 0.6 and 2.5 miles of another Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest branch.
RBS has branches in Queen Street in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Colchester.
An RBS spokesman said: “We are no longer launching Williams & Glyn as a challenger bank, and we now have two branch networks operating in close proximity to each other - NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland - in England & Wales.
“As a result we have had to review our overall branch footprint in England and Wales and we’ve made the difficult decision to close a number of Royal Bank of Scotland branches. Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland in England & Wales will be able to use NatWest branches instead for their everyday banking needs.
“We now provide our customers with more ways to bank with us than ever before - customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options to suit their needs.”
NatWest branches in Beccles, Hunstanton, North Walsham and Thetford are also scheduled for closure in the next two months, as announced in December.
The move follows a trend with rival lenders Lloyds Bank announcing 49 branch closures last month, following on from closures it announced in November, while Barclays revealed closures in September.