Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Banking: RBS to close 44 sites, including 14 ‘last bank in town’ branches

15:13 03 April 2014

Royal Bank of Scotland has announced the closure of another 44 branches.

Royal Bank of Scotland has announced the closure of another 44 branches.

Archant

Taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is closing 44 branches across the UK, including 14 classed as the “last bank in town”.

The bailed-out lender, which is just over 80% owned by the Government, said the move followed a 30% fall in branch transactions since 2010.

RBS said the so-called last banks in town that were closing were generally only open for a few hours a week and usually only saw one or two customers an hour.

A spokesman for RBS said: “Banking has changed significantly over the last few years as more and more of our customers are banking with us where and when it is convenient for them.”

He added: “We have to adapt to what our customers want, which is why we’re investing in a range of other ways our customers can bank with us, including online and telephone banking, our mobile app, and in any of the Post Office’s 11,500 branches across the UK.”

None of the “last bank in town” sites are in East Anglia, although the Prince of Wales Road branch in Norwich is among the others due to close. RBS said it was too early to give details on redundancies as it hoped to redeploy staff to other branches where possible.

It added that it had been telling affected customers about the closures over the past two months.

Campaign group Move Your Money said RBS had “consistently undermined the interests of its customers and wider society since being bailed out in 2008”.

The group’s campaign director Charlotte Webster added: “It’s no surprise then to see the bank let down its customers once again by upping sticks and leaving town - even where it’s promised not to do so.

“Banks of this scale just can’t be trusted to take its customers’ needs into account, even when the only reason it’s still around is because of our support.”

The branch closures come after RBS said in February it planned to slash costs by more than £5billion over the next three to four years after slumping £8.2bn into the red by in 2013.

It has around 2,000 branches across the UK, although it is spinning off 314 of those under the Williams & Glyn brand to meet European Union rules on state aid.

The group announced in February that customers of RBS as well as its sister banks NatWest and Ulster Bank would be able to use any of the Post Office’s 11,500 branches to pay cheques or cash into their accounts from later this year.

RBS already has a relationship with the Post Office which enables its customers to withdraw cash and check their balances at Post Office branches.

The branches are being shut throughout May and June. Besides relocating to other branches, some employees will also transfer to mobile banking services being launched in some areas where branches are closing.

The latest round of closures follows the axing of 60 branches last year and RBS refused to rule out further closures.

Trade union Unite accused RBS of “turning its back on local communities” and urged the Government to intervene.

Rob Macgregor, Unite national officer, said: “Taxpayers have a right to be angry that RBS has quietly embarked on a major programme of branch closures.

“While RBS senior executives get millions of pounds in payouts, there are communities up and down the country being denied access to a local bank.”

He added that Chancellor George Osborne should take action as one of the branches closing is in his constituency of Tatton in Chelford.

The Campaign for Community Banking Services (CCBS) said the decision by RBS meant it was breaking a pledge made in 2010 to safeguard “last bank in town” branches. RBS had since watered down its commitment, with each case considered on its own merits.

Derek French, director of the CCBS, said: “It is time for action not words and I call upon Government to intervene now and order the banks to fully consider the branch-sharing alternative before leaving communities without a staffed bank presence.”

0 comments

Spending on Eating Out remained robust during April, according to a survey carried out for Greene King.

Britons continued to enjoy eating out during April, according to a new survey, despite reports of growing concern over the strength of the UK economy and the potential impact of a vote to leave the EU in next month’s referendum.

Meeting organised by the Institute of Directors about Suffolks burgeoning film industry. Julien Mery, co-founder of Livid Films and director of Film Suffolk, discussed how the creative community in Suffolk is putting the county on the UK and worlds creative industry map. L-R Sarah Brown, Graham Kill, Julien Mery and Old Jet's Jesse Quin.

A group of executives got to see the creative side of Suffolk’s economy at one of the county’s most popular filmmaking locations.

Oliver Paul, owner of the Suffolk Food Hall, DEFRA Secretary Liz Truss, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge and Babergh District Councillor Jennie Jenkins meet for an informal meeting on the outcome of the RDPE funding provided for the commercial artisan kitchens in the Cookhouse at the Suffolk Food Hall.

Apprenticeship Levy funding from major supermarket chains and food manufacturers could deliver a boost to skills training for smaller food businesses and farming, a senior Government minister has said during a visit to Suffolk.

The Inspirations shop in Wickham Market,owned by shareholders in the community, is now officially open. Nick Denny from the Co-op cut the ribbon.

The much anticipated transformation of a Suffolk village’s former supermarket into a new community retail venture was celebrated this week - four years after the site was last in use.

New-build utility connections specialist Brookfield Utilities has reported increased annual profits.
Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Annual profits at Suffolk-based Brookfield Utilities have increased by more than one-third as it continues to add to the number of properties it connects.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24