NatWest to close 21 branches and RBS to close 11 as part of move to mobile banking
Closure of High Street banks: NatWest will close 21 branches while RBS will close 11 as part of the move to mobile banking
- NatWest announced the closure of 21 branches, staff to relocate
- RBS will also close 11 locations, including a branch in Bishopsgate, central London
- Most customers are ‘switching to mobile and online banking’ because it’s ‘faster and easier’
NatWest is due to close 21 branches and RBS is due to close 11 as part of a customer shift to mobile banking – as 12 jobs will be lost as the majority of staff are due to relocate.
The banking giant has confirmed that the sites, the majority of which are in England, will close, but has not yet specified a date.
The list of branches due to close includes the Royal Bank of Scotland branch at NatWest’s headquarters in Bishopsgate, central London.
Most staff will be moved to other branches, but the bank said 12 jobs would be at risk.
A statement from NatWest said: “As in many industries, most of our customers are turning to mobile and online banking because it is faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.
NatWest is closing 21 of its branches, with most of its staff expected to move to another branch, while 12 jobs will be at risk
Eleven branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland are also due to close, including its site at Natwest’s headquarters in Bishopsgate, central London.
Closure of NatWest and RBS agencies
Bulwell & Hucknall, Nottinghamshire
Chelsea, Greater London
Gosforth, Tyne and Wear
Headingley, West Yorkshire
University of Hull, East Yorkshire
Leeds-Victoria, West Yorkshire
Manchester Spinningfields Square, Greater Manchester
City of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Piccadilly and New Bond Street, Greater London
Ruislip, North West London
South Woodford, East London
Tavistock Square, central London
Twickenham, West London
Windsor and Eton, Berkshire
Derby Crompton House, Derbyshire
Royal Bank of Scotland closures
Bishopsgate, City of London
Cardiff City, Wales
Harrow, North London
Leeds Park Row, West Yorkshire
Leicester Market Street, Leicestershire
London Child & Co
Nottingham City Office, Nottinghamshire
Main Street in Southampton, Hampshire
“We understand and recognize that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or in every situation, and when we close branches we need to make sure no one is left behind.
“We take seriously our responsibility to support people who are having difficulty getting around online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them.”
All branches are located in England except for a single RBS site in Cardiff. Several in London will close along with Leeds and Manchester.
It comes as many UK banking chains have chosen to close branches in recent years, fueling fears that less tech-savvy customers may struggle to manage their bank accounts.
Research conducted by Who? last year showed that almost half of UK bank branches have either closed or are on the verge of closing since 2015.
A total of 4,735 branches had been designated for closure during the period, including 736 in 2021.
Closures have become so common that last week the Principality Building Society took the step to reassure staff and customers that it will keep all of its branches open until at least the end of 2025.
Last year, the TSB announced it would close 70 branches next year, also citing more customers switching to online banking as the reason.
The bank said 150 jobs will be affected by store closures between April and June 2022, but all staff will be offered alternative roles at the TSB.
The company said it would have 220 branches left at the end of June 2022, compared to 290 today. It will still have the seventh largest branch network in the country.
More than 500 banks have closed since the start of the pandemic alone, with lockdown restrictions appearing to have accelerated the shift to online banking for many customers.
Banks say this has led to lower footfall and they need to prioritize investments in digital services.
MPs have repeatedly raised concerns about the impact of bank branch closures on vulnerable customers, fearing that many people will effectively be deprived of their money.
In August, Matt Hammerstein, chief executive of Barclays UK, said less than 10% of all transactions take place at a branch, while NatWest said 60% of its retail customers now exclusively use digital channels.
He added that nine out of ten interactions with customers take place by phone, internet or smartphone, while 99% of cash withdrawals are done at an ATM.