NatWest and RBS to shutter 32 branches in England and Wales
NatWest has confirmed it is closing 32 bank branches, including 11 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) branches, throughout England and Wales.
A NatWest spokesperson says: “As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking, because it’s faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.
“We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.
“We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them.”
To mitigate the impact of the closures, the UK banking giant has taken steps including offering a postal cash delivery service and a card that can be given to someone else to make payments on a customer’s behalf.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of online banking and the subsequent closures of bank branches throughout the UK.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) called on banks to reconsider branch closures during the pandemic.
Regarding vulnerable customers, NatWest says it contacts and supports those who may be affected by branch closures. It offers a dedicated team and phone line to provide tailored support for vulnerable customers who require extra help or have more complex needs.
NatWest says any colleagues affected by the closures will be redeployed elsewhere but expects 12 colleagues to face redundancy.