People pass a branch of The Royal Bank of Scotland in central London. — Reuters picLONDON, Dec 1 — 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.
Outlets under both the NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland brands will close in the middle of next year, resulting in about 680 job cuts, the company said today. RBS said it will use the savings to invest in its smartphone offering, which has seen mobile transactions rise more than 70 per cent since 2014.
RBS, which says 5 million customers use its mobile app, has been shrinking for almost a decade since it was nationalised. It announced 690 job cuts and 180 branch closures in March. Its competitors are moving customers online too, with Lloyds Banking Group Plc announcing it will shut 49 branches next year.
Unite, Britain’s largest labor union, criticised the move, saying it will cause 1,000 job losses and may spell the end of bank branches in the country.