RBS names latest Scottish victims of branch cull

rbs_logoThe Royal Bank of Scotland has named the next five branches to be axed from its Scottish branch network as part of the ongoing cost saving drive across the still 73 percent state-owned lender.

The Edinburgh-based bank, which was bailed out at a cost of £45 billion by the UK taxpayer at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, said three more branches will close in Glasgow, together with one in Stirling and its only one in Callander.

The Glasgow branches affected are in Maryhill, Possilpark and Cambuslang, which will shut in August, the bank said in a statement.

A spokesman said customer transactions at the three branches had fallen by nearly a fifth in the past five years.

He added that online and mobile banking had soared four-fold since 2010.

The move comes after the banking group closed several branches across Scotland last year, including ones in West Blackhall Street, in Greenock, and Dumbarton Road, in Glasgow.

RBS also said it is to axe its only branch in the Perthshire tourist town of Callander.

The branch, in the town’s Main Street, will also close in August, leaving the nearest RBS outlet to the town more than 12 miles away in Dunblane.

The company said the number of transactions carried out at the Callander branch had dropped by 50 per cent in the last five years and only 32 customers now use it “on a weekly basis”.

The bank’s branch in Murray Place, Stirling, will also close, although an alternative in this case is just half a mile away.

The bank revealed that due to customers increasingly using alternative ways to bank such as online and mobile banking, branch transactions have declined by around 46 per cent since 2010.

Online and mobile transactions however, have grown by more than 400 per cent.

Only nine per cent of RBS’ total transactions are now undertaken in branches in comparison to 25 per cent in 2010.

An RBS spokesman said: “Our customers increasingly use alternative ways to bank such as mobile banking.”

However, Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford said he would be contacting the company to stress the “significant impact” closures have on local communities.

He said: “The news that the Callander branch is set to close is particularly concerning as the town is trying hard to rise to the challenges of other recent closures on its Main Street.

“I am contacting the bank as a matter of urgency in an effort to get a reversal of these decisions.”

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