Royal Bank of Scotland said on Wednesday it will close a further 54 branches and cut 258 jobs in a move that is related to its failed plan to spin-out its Williams & Glyn brand into a stand-alone bank.
“The review was undertaken as a consequence of the Royal Bank of Scotland network being reintegrated back into the core RBS bank now that the divestment of the business is no longer taking place,” said RBS.
“We are now in a position where the size and shape of our branch network across NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland will be stable until at least 2020.”
RBS added: “The Royal Bank of Scotland in England & Wales and NatWest retail banking business in Scotland was due to be divested and launched as a separate ‘challenger bank’, under the brand name, Williams & Glyn.
“Although part of the RBS Group, this network operated with a different strategy and with different products and services for customers, with the intention that it would become a completely separate bank.
“This divestment is now not going ahead so the Williams & Glyn business, including its branch network, are being reintegrated back into the core bank.”
The vast majority of impacted Royal Bank of Scotland branches in England & Wales are in close proximity to either another Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest branch.
An RBS spokesperson said: “As we are no longer launching Williams & Glyn as a challenger bank we now have two branch networks operating in close proximity to each other in England and Wales – NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.
“As a result we have reviewed our overall branch footprint in England and Wales and have made the difficult decision to close 54 Royal Bank of Scotland branches.
“Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland in England and Wales will be able to use NatWest branches and local post offices for their everyday banking needs.
“We will now focus on investing in our Royal Bank network in England and Wales to make sure customers have a consistent range of products and services wherever they bank, be it Scotland, England or Wales.
“The way customers bank with us has changed radically over the last few years.
“Since 2014, branch transactions across Royal Bank of Scotland in England & Wales are down 30%.
“During this same period, there has been a 53% increase in the number of customers using mobile banking and mobile transactions have increased by 74%.”