RBS to shed nearly 160 workers in Scotland as 62 branches to close

rbsRoyal Bank of Scotland is set to shed nearly 160 employees as it closes a total of 62 branches across Scotland, it announced today.

The announcement from the bank - which is still 72 per cent state-owned - comes just nine months after RBS’s announcement of 30 branch closures.

The ‘branch network review’ will also lead to 197 NatWest branch closures south of the border.

A spokesperson for RBS said: “We realise this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected.

“We will ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to an absolute minimum.”

As many as 1,000 jobs across the UK are set to be affected by the decision, but RBS hopes to limit the number to 680 (158 in Scotland) by redeploying staff.

Scottish Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The news of further branch closures from RBS will be hugely concerning to many people in Scotland as it now not only affects, potentially, staff at RBS but also leaves large areas of Scotland, particularly rural areas, with limited branch coverage.

“The worst impact will be on the most vulnerable members of our society, for many of whom going into a branch is the only feasible way to conduct their banking.

“While recognising that footfall in branches is falling, due to online banking, RBS, and other banks, must take into account the needs of all customers - not just those who can access and use digital services.”

Mr Wheelhouse added: “Along with my colleagues, I will be engaging with RBS to ensure that everything possible is being done to mitigate the impact of this decision on communities affected.”

Scottish Secretary David Mundell added: “I am very disappointed to hear of the plans by the Royal Bank of Scotland to close so many of their branches across Scotland. This is a serious issue for the communities they serve.

“While usage of branches may have dropped, they are still a lifeline for many people, especially in rural areas. I’ll be seeking a meeting with the senior leadership of RBS to discuss these closures as a matter of urgency.”

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