RBS and NatWest to shed 160 branches and 770 jobs

"We have seen a dramatic shift in the way our customers are choosing to bank", a statement said. "As customers change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them", says a spokesperson for RBS, which remains majority-owned by the United Kingdom government following a multi-billion bailout nearly a decade ago.

The Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Stowmarket branches of NatWest are to close, with the bank blaming a sharp reduction in the number of transactions. We provide a range of alternative ways to bank, tailored to the needs of our customers and reflective of the way they live their lives.

RBS said that despite the closures, it remained committed to providing services to its customers and had created a number of so-called "community banker" positions.

"Simple transactions" undertaken at the NatWest and RBS branches have fallen by 43% since 2010, the bank says. The Company's products and services include banking and risk management, such as payments, insurance and liquidity management; personal lending, including personal loans and credit cards; deposits, such as current accounts and savings accounts; investments, such as portfolio management and unitized funds; commercial lending, including business lending, and capital markets, including rates, currencies and financing.

The Knaresborough branch will close on October 3 2017 while Tadcaster customers will have until October 5.

Some 50 community bankers will help to serve local and rural communities, while a taskforce of 1,200 NatWest and RBS "TechXperts" will be dedicated to training and supporting customers' digital skills. Parts of the website may not work as expected without them. Although unfortunate, it is not hard to understand the reasons why we are seeing an increase in these closures.

" If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch".

Unite has renewed calls for a moratorium on branch closures. Although I understand that there is now greater reliance on online and telephone banking, there remains a great many people in my constituency who do not have access to, or knowledge of, digital technology. It is important that every effort is taken to mitigate the effect on businesses, as this could potentially have a negative knock on effect to the local economy. "Access to cash is already an issue so I will be urging NatWest to keep their cashpoint open in Hay even if we can not save the branch". "It denudes the area of an important and vital facility and will cause great inconvenience to a lot of customers in the Machars".

  • Joanne Flowers