RBS to close 44 branches across UK

A woman carrying an umbrella walks past a branch of Royal Bank of Scotland Royal Bank of Scotland is closing a total of 44 branches across the UK

Related Stories

Taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced it is closing 44 branches across the UK, 14 of which are classed as the "last banks in town".

That is despite the fact that the bank pledged in 2010 not to close such branches.

A spokeswoman for RBS said "the world had changed since then", and there had been a 30% fall in branch transactions over the last four years.

But campaigners accused the bank of letting down its customers.

RBS said customers in many Scottish communities affected would now be served by a mobile van.

Others will continue to have access to services through the Post Office, or cash machines.

RBS said those branches classed as "last banks in town" and which are to close, are only open for a few hours a week.

Some of them often see just one or two customers an hour.

'Last banks in town' to close

RBS sign
  • Castletown, near Thurso
  • Pathhead, Midlothian
  • East Linton, East Lothian
  • Longniddry, East Lothian
  • Greenlaw, Berwickshire
  • Bonnybridge, near Falkirk
  • Chirnside, Berwickshire
  • Bollington, Cheshire
  • Fair Oak, near Eastleigh
  • Chelford, Cheshire
  • Highcliffe on Sea, Dorset
  • Old Roan, Liverpool
  • Repton, Derbyshire
  • Radyr, near Cardiff

It added that in most cases customers would still only be a few miles away from their nearest branch.

However, in its customer charter of 2010, RBS said it would not close any bank which was the last one in the community.

It said then that it had identified 100 such locations, and promised "to stay open for business if we are the last bank in town, and consider a range of options to ensure a local banking service is available".

Campaigners said they had expected such closures to take place for some time.

"It's no surprise 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," said Charlotte Webster of the campaign group Move Your Money.

"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," she added.

Significant change

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.

"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 one of the Post Office's 11,500 branches across the UK."

The branch closures come two months after RBS said it planned to slash costs by more than £5bn over four years, after its annual results showed it made a loss of £8.2bn in 2013.

RBS said it had been telling affected customers about the closures over the past two months.

Of the 14 "last banks in town", seven are in Scotland, six in England, and one in Wales.

Those in Scotland are: Castletown, near Thurso; Pathhead, Midlothian; Longniddry and East Linton, East Lothian; Greenlaw, Scottish Borders; Bonnybridge, near Falkirk. and Chirnside, Berwickshire.

Those in England are: Bollington, Cheshire; Fair Oak, near Eastleigh; Chelford, Cheshire; Highcliffe on Sea, Dorset; Old Roan, Liverpool; Repton, Derbyshire.

The branch in Wales is Radyr, near Cardiff.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories


BBC Business Live

    A Homebase store in Stanford near Lincolnshire.

    Despite talking up the prospects for its full year profits, Home Retail is closing 25% of its 323 Homebase stores over the next four years. That's as it lets leases expire on some properties. Homebase managing director Paul Loft is also stepping down, although he will continue on in his role until a successor is found.


    Homebase and Argos owner Home Retail Group has reported a 5% fall in half-year pre-tax profit to £13.5m. But like-for-like sales were up 2.9% at Argos, and 4.1% at Homebase. Chief executive, John Walden said the group expects to meet City expectations for its full year profit. But he added: "as always, the full-year outcome will depend upon the important Argos Christmas trading period".

    Cigarettes in their package

    Cigarette-pedlar BAT has said revenue for the nine months to the end of September grew by 2.4%. "Industry volume has declined at a lower rate than last year, but is being impacted by large excise-driven price increases," it said.

    SUPERGROUP Via Twitter James Quinn Executive Business Editor, Telegraph

    tweets: "Strong comeback from Sutherland who fell victim to all he tried to achieve at the Co-op Group, and can be credited with rescuing Co-op Bank."

    07:29: SUPERGROUP
    SuperGroup chief executive, Euan Sutherland,

    Former Co-op Group chief executive Euan Sutherland is back having been announced as chief executive of SuperGroup this morning with immediate effect. He was previously CEO of Kingfisher UK, which operates B&Q, Screwfix and TradePoint.

    07:21: GERMAN GROWTH BBC Radio 4

    Germany has very low unemployment, Dr Stephanie Hare, senior analyst for western Europe at Oxford Analytica tells Today. "Making more jobs for Germany isn't the issue here," she says. "We need stimulus and investment in countries that are going to help boost the future of Germany's trading partners in the eurozone. So we can either increase demand in Germany, or Germany could be part of a wider European solution to increase stimulus in its eurozone trading partners." She points out Germany has benefitted from other countries investing and stimulating its economy once or twice in the past century.

    07:11: EUROTUNNEL

    Eurostar results yesterday, Eurotunnel results today. Revenues for the third quarter of 2014 increased 7% to €343.9m (£271.5m).

    06:57: UK BORROWING Radio 5 live

    "The main reason tax receipts aren't as high as you'd like is the increase in personal tax allowance," says Alan Clarke, UK and eurozone economist at Scotiabank on Wake Up to Money. He's talking about yesterday's disappointing figures. There are more people in work, though, which means less spending on benefits, he says. Low-paid jobs mean that doesn't help as much as you may think, points out presenter Mickey Clark.

    06:47: GERMAN GROWTH BBC Radio 4

    Christian Schultz, senior economist at Berenberg Bank, tells the Today programme Germany needs to work on its infrastructure, but even if it started to work on inward investment now the effects would not be felt for several years. This as more political pressure builds on Germany to act to avert another eurozone crisis. But German inward investment doesn't solve the problem, he says. "How does Germany fixing some bridges make French and Italian entrepreneurs invest more?"

    06:34: STORM POWER

    The UK's wind farms generated more power than its nuclear power stations on Tuesday, the National Grid says. The energy network operator said it was caused by a combination of high winds and faults in nuclear plants. Wind made up 14.2% of all generation and nuclear offered 13.2%. As BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin reports, for a 24-hour period yesterday, spinning blades produced more energy than splitting atoms.

    06:24: CITY POWERS Radio 5 live

    On things like transport and education, local government can make better decisions, says Alexandra Jones, chief executive of the Centre for Cities, which does independent research and policy analysis on UK city economies on 5 live. "Whatever you're doing in a city, you have to balance the books, though, she says. Competitiveness on tax becomes a "race to the bottom" she adds.

    06:13: CITY POWERS Radio 5 live

    "I think there's real momentum... this is the biggest opportunity in decades to transport the relationship with local government," says Mr Wakefield on 5 live. The debate for Scottish independence shows there are a lot of people interested in local powers, he adds.

    06:04: CITY POWERS Radio 5 live

    Allowing UK cities to make their own decisions on tax and spending could boost economic growth by £79bn a year by 2030, a year-long study has concluded. "More people want local powers in Leeds," says Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council on Radio 5 live. He thinks councils can target some spending more efficiently.

    06:01: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning! Get in touch via email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on twitter @BBCBusiness

    06:00: Matthew West Business reporter

    Morning all. We have the latest minutes from the Bank of England's September Monetary Policy Committee meeting at 09:30; Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group publishes interim results before that and there are trading updates from GlaxoSmithKline, British American Tobacco and Everything Everywhere. We'll bring you it all as it happens.



From BBC Capital


  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.