Why RBS branches are closing? Bank set to axe one in five branches in Scotland with 100 staff said to be at risk

A list of branches under threat has been released

One in five branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland are set to close, with 100 jobs said to be at risk.

The bank, owned by NatWest, has revealed 18 of its 86 branches will shut, including three in Edinburgh. It said there would be no further closures of branches until 2026.

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The Bank said it was seeking to make redundancies on a voluntary basis where possible. Unions have described the move as a “massive blow”.

RBS is to close 18 branchesRBS is to close 18 branches
RBS is to close 18 branches

An RBS spokesperson said: “While we are increasingly engaging our customers digitally, our branch network remains important to us.

"We are also significantly investing in refreshing our network – we are investing £10.5m in our network across Scotland, from 2023-24, as well as continuing to invest in shared solutions like the Post Office and banking hubs.

"Our customers appreciate the speed and convenience of digital banking for everyday transactions, and often, when it comes to making bigger, more complex decisions they value speaking to our skilled and experienced colleagues."

Esther O'Hara, Unite industrial officer said: "The news that RBS is proposing to slash its high street and community banks by a fifth is another massive blow to this loyal workforce and the communities the bank serve. Many of these banks are situated in rural and remote communities where RBS customers rely on this vital service.

"The proposed closures come off the back of RBS closures elsewhere in the UK and we fear this latest announcement is just another stage in the phasing out of banks from our nation's streets in the race to make all banking operations digital which is not suitable or accessible for many customers.

"The proposals raise fears for over 100 jobs and Unite's objective is to ensure that there are no compulsory redundancies. The Natwest Group, which owns RBS, is an extremely profitable bank with its latest pre-tax profits rising by 20 per cent to £6.2bn last year. It remains a bank which the taxpayer still owns by around 35 per cent, yet there is very little return for the public and no regard for the workforce and the customers the bank is supposed to serve."

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine, meanwhile, warned of the community impact of the proposed closures, which include the branch in the village of Newbridge.

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This branch is set to close on 2nd of October 2024, after which the closest branch to local residents will be nearly five miles away in Corstorphine, or in Kirkliston's Post Office, two miles away.

Ms Jardine said: “I am deeply worried that this will be another blow to the Newbridge community,

"Many residents have written to me with concerns about the closure of local facilities and community spaces, as well as cuts to bus routes, which will make it harder for my constituents to get to their nearest alternative branches.

"We all know that banking is changing, but many older people especially rely on these local services to get by, and I am concerned they may feel more isolated as a result of closures.

“I will be writing to residents in Newbridge in the coming days to seek their views on the changes, and asking RBS to ensure that alternative arrangements are made so no one is left out."

The RBS branches facing closure

Aberdeen St. Nicholas


Cumbernauld Tay Walk

Dundee Kingsway Circus

East Kilbride

Edinburgh Bruntsfield

Edinburgh Leith

Edinburgh Nicolson Street

Glasgow Cardonald

Glasgow Charing Cross West

Glasgow Rutherglen West


Inverness Chief Office

Inverness Eastgate


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