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More than 150 jobs to be axed as RBS to close 62 branches

Trade union Unite Scotland called the move 'institutional financial vandalism'.

More than 150 people employed at the Royal Bank of Scotland will be made redundant after it announced dozens of branch closures.

The banking giant will close a total of 62 branches across Scotland, which it says will cost 158 jobs.

Trade union Unite Scotland called the move "institutional financial vandalism" and said it will devastate local communities.

RBS said it will seek to handle the redundancies on a voluntary basis and added the decision was the result of the rise in online and mobile banking.

Among the branches scheduled to close in May and June 2018 are Aberdeen Bridge of Don, Inverness Queensgate, Dundee Stobswell, Perth South Street and Glasgow Business Centre.

There will also be closures in the Highlands, the Borders, the Lothians, Lanarkshire, Argyll and Bute and Ayrshire.

It follows the announcement in March this year that 30 RBS branches would be shut.

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1383937-rbs-to-close-30-branches-as-more-customers-move-online/ | default

The Scottish Government has expressed concern the move will hit the most vulnerable in society, who are more likely to rely on local branches, particularly in rural areas.

Across the rest of the UK, an additional 197 NatWest outlets will be affected by the decision, bringing the combined number of branches affected across RBS and NatWest to 259.

As many as 1000 jobs could be affected across Britain in total but the company hopes to limit this number to 680 by redeploying staff.

A spokeswoman for RBS said: "More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile.

"Since 2012, the number of customers using our branches in Scotland has fallen by 44%.

"Only 1% of our customers in Scotland now use a branch regularly while the number of regular mobile users has increased by 39% since 2015."

She added: "As customers continue to change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them so we are investing in our more popular branches and shaping our network, replacing traditional bricks and mortar branches with alternative ways to bank."

The spokeswoman said the bank would aim to keep compulsory redundancies "to an absolute minimum", adding: "We are doing everything we can to support those affected."

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1394996-royal-bank-of-scotland-reports-half-year-profit-of-939m/ | default

Unite Scotland has said the bank's directors are "filling their boots", pointing to their earnings in 2016 of £8.3m.

It said RBS, which remains 72% owned by the taxpayer, "should not be allowed to turn its back on rural communities across Scotland".

The trade union's regional officer Lyn Turner said: "RBS's 2016 annual report states that they want 'to transform the bank into the number one for customer service, trust and advocacy'.

"What we have in 2017 is a plan which amounts to institutional financial vandalism on a scale which has never been seen in this country ever before. Customer service? Trust? Don't make me laugh."

Ms Turner added: "This is not the Royal Bank for Scotland.

"It's the Royal Bank for its top directors and executives filling their boots while they devastate local communities with bank closures and destroy hundreds of quality jobs."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1393482-rbs-sale-that-cost-taxpayer-2bn-was-value-for-money/ | default

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."

The minister 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."

Full list of RBS branches due to close in 2018

  • Aberdeen, Bridge of Don (June 17)
  • Aberdeen, Dyce (May 31)
  • Aberfeldy (June 7)
  • Airdrie (May 24)
  • Alloa (June 19)
  • Annan (June 25)
  • Aviemore (June 31)
  • Banff (May 23)
  • Bannockburn (May 15)
  • Beauly (June 6)
  • Bellshill (June 11)
  • Biggar (May 31)
  • Bonnyrigg (June 24)
  • Bridge of Allan (June 11)
  • Campbeltown (May 29)
  • Carnwath (June 25)
  • Castlebay (June 16)
  • Comrie (June 13)
  • Douglas (May 21)
  • Dunbar (May 30)
  • Dunblane (May 20)
  • Dundee, Stobswell (June 20)
  • Duns (June 5)
  • Ellon (June 7)
  • Eyemouth (June 11)
  • Glasgow, Business Centre (May 20)
  • Grantown on Spey (June 11)
  • Gretna (June 7)
  • Hamilton, Cadzow Street (June 28)
  • Hawick (June 14)
  • Huntly (June 14)
  • Inveraray (June 21)
  • Inverness, Queensgate (June 27)
  • Jedburgh (June 18)
  • Kilbirnie (June 5)
  • Kilwinning (June 11)
  • Kinross (June 25)
  • Kyle (June 28)
  • Langholm (May 30)
  • Larkhall (June 4)
  • Lesmahagow (June 19)
  • Linlithgow (June 27)
  • Lockerbie (June 21)
  • Mallaig (May 17)
  • Melrose (June 21)
  • Montrose (June 6)
  • Nairn (June 21)
  • North Berwick (June 25)
  • Penicuik (June 28)
  • Perth, South Street (June 27)
  • Pitlochry (May 31)
  • Renfrew (June 14)
  • Rothesay (June 26)
  • Saltcoats (June 20)
  • Selkirk (May 21)
  • Stepps (June 20)
  • Strathaven (June 7)
  • Tain (June 20)
  • Tannochside (June 14)
  • Tongue (June 14)
  • Turriff (June 26)
  • Wick (May 17)

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