Scotland business

RBS poised to shed 200 clerical posts

RBS sign at the bank's headquarters Image copyright Getty Images

Royal Bank of Scotland has drawn up plans to shed about 200 jobs as it cuts back its branch network.

The bank intends to axe clerical roles in Scotland, Wales and south-west England.

It is understood about 20 branches face closure, although the bank has not confirmed details.

RBS, which is 73% owned by the taxpayer, has cut around 1,350 posts out of a workforce of 12,000 staff in its branch network since mid-March.

The move is part of the bank's plans to slim down from a sprawling international bank to a UK-focused lender.

RBS currently operates nearly 1,100 RBS and NatWest branches.

The lender said its strategy reflected the changing nature of how customers use banks.

It said branch counter transactions had fallen by 43% since 2010, while digital usage had jumped by 400% over the same period.

'Difficult decision'

A spokesman for RBS said: "Banking has changed significantly over the last few years and the way people want to interact with us is also changing.

"We have to continually adapt to meet our customers' needs and to ensure we remain viable and relevant both now and in the future.

"We review our branch network regularly to make sure the services we provide are appropriate for each local community, based on customer usage and other ways to bank in the local area.

"Where we do have to make the difficult decision to close a branch we will always tell our staff and customers first."

He added: "Any reduction in roles is clearly difficult news for staff affected by these changes.

"We are doing everything we can to support them, including seeking redeployment opportunities wherever possible and ensuring that compulsory redundancies are kept to a minimum."

RBS boss Ross McEwan said at the bank's annual meeting last week that the "heaviest restructuring" of the bank will be behind it by the end of the year as it presses ahead with cost-cutting plans.

RBS reported a first-quarter pre-tax loss of £968m last month - more than double last year's figure of £446m.

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