RBS to close 259 more branches amid shift to digital banking

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc will close 259 more branches across Britain in its latest round of cuts as customers shift to online banking

Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has announced that outlets under both the NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland brands will close in the middle of 2018 as the bank’s focus turns to digital banking. The closures are said to result in over 600 job cuts.

RBS said it will use the savings to invest in its smartphone offering, which has seen mobile transactions rise more than 70% since 2014.

Unite, Britain’s largest labour union, criticised the move. Rob MacGregor, Unite’s national officer, said in a statement that “this British-taxpayer funded bank should be concentrating on investing in jobs here in the UK, rather than cutting them wholesale”.

RBS, which says 5 million customers use its mobile app, has been shrinking for almost a decade. Its competitors are moving customers online too, with Lloyds Banking Group Plc announcing it will shut 49 branches in 2018.

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