Published: Fri, December 01, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

NatWest announces bank closures in Stamford and Oundle

NatWest announces bank closures in Stamford and Oundle

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, says RBS has chose to "decimate its bank branch network" and "serious questions need to be asked about whether these closures mark the end of branch network banking".

The NatWest has revealed its branches in High Street, Stamford, and Market Place, in Oundle, will close next summer.

Royal Bank of Scotland is to close 259 branches - 62 RBS branches and 197 NatWest outlets - resulting in 680 job losses after the state-backed lender said more people are choosing to bank online or on mobile.

It said it has seen a 40% drop in the use of branches since 2014 and mobile transactions have increased by 73% over the same period.

Find the full list of the branches that will close here.

The union Unite, which represents many of those affected by the closure programme, said senior figures at the bank were "filling their boots while they devastate local communities". Transactions at the NatWest Oundle branch have fallen by 29 per cent since 2012 with only 58 customers now visiting the branch on a weekly basis.

Treasury also converts RBS "preference" shares to "ordinary" shares, raising stake to 70%. "Over 5 million customers now use our mobile banking app and one in five only bank with us digitally", it added.

NatWest in Kingswinford
NatWest in Kingswinford

The spokeswoman said the bank would aim to keep compulsory redundancies "to an absolute minimum", adding: "We are doing everything we can to support those affected".

The group said it was "committed to ensuring our customers and communities are able to continue accessing high quality banking services", pointing to its fleet of mobile branches and contract with the Post Office.

"The Royal Bank of Scotland has made a decision to decimate its bank branch network", Unite's national officer Rob MacGregor said.

This development follows the previous branch closure announcements which resulted in over 500 branches being lost.

"The sheer scale of this latest round of branch closures is savage".

But it still expects to report an annual loss for 2017 - its tenth in succession - as it faces an imminent fine from the US Department of Justice over its sale of toxic mortgage bonds in the run-up to the crisis.

The bank, still 72 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is the third this week to announce branch closures and job cuts, following Lloyds and Yorkshire Building Society.

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But it has also ruled out the possibility of Northern Ireland staying in the customs union, two seemingly contradictory positions. Theresa May's plan for a "light-touch" border using technology is "untested and to some extent speculative", its report added.

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