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  • Job losses at RBS as bank set to close more branches

    Henry James

    BOSSES at RBS have say they plan to shut more branches in Sefton and West Lancashire with the loss of jobs.

    The bank has had another review of its operations and it has announced it will close 54 more branches in England and Wales with 258 job losses. This is in addition to 162 closures announced in April of this year.

    In West Lancashire, Burscough Bridge and Parbold RBS branches are set to close on January 29, 2019 following Skelmersdale's closure on May 22 this year and Ormskirk set to go on November 27.

    In Sefton, RBS banks in Maghull and Formby will close in January 2019. Bootle's branch closed on August 16 and Birkdale's branch is going on November 6.

    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.”

    Unite the union representing staff at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has expressed disgust at the decision.

    Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer said: “It is utterly disgusting that Royal Bank of Scotland has the audacity to announce that yet more important local bank branches will permanently close their doors. This announcement heaps further misery on communities across England and Wales that have already seen the demise of local banking services as branches that were signposted by the bank earlier in 2018 as an alternative for customers whose branches were closing, now suffering a similar fate.

    “Today another 54 local communities will lose the vital local bank branch which many customers rely on and over 340 staff will lose their jobs. The disabled, elderly and many local businesses will today be deeply disappointed that their bank has chosen to withdraw from their community and no longer provide them with the access to banking services which we all deserve.

    “The latest round of branch closures will reduce the RBS brand presence to just 51 sites, with the North West region yet again losing the largest number of branches.”

    West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said: “RBS is a taxpayer funded bank who are simply withdrawing from the North of England. In our area there will only be two RBS banks, one in Liverpool and one in Southport. This is simply not good enough. As the taxpayer owns 62.4 per cent of the bank, I am calling on the Chancellor to hold RBS to account and ensure that taxpayers are treated fairly wherever they live and are not just looking after those in the South of England.

    “RBS needs to explain why they have turned their back on the North West and explain why this area has been hit so much harder than the rest of the country.

    “Why should Northwest taxpayers’ money be used to prop up a bank which has practically disowned this region? As long as they are getting our taxpayer pounds they don’t care that they are closing branches in areas where there isn’t a good transport infrastructure and that is penalising those who are elderly, infirm or don’t have their own transport. Taxpayers will also want to know what we are getting for our money if it’s not banks!”

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