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Hundreds more jobs to go at RBS as digital replaces branch services

RBS is cutting more jobs and closing branches as customers increasingly prefer digital services

The Royal Bank of Scotland is cutting hundreds more jobs as it shrinks its branch network in response to customer demand for digital services.

The bank said the cuts – reported to be 200, but not confirmed – are the result of changing customer demand. The latest cuts are in Wales, Scotland and south-west England.

“Banking has changed significantly over the past few years and the way people want to interact with us is also changing. We have to continually adapt to meet our customers’ needs to ensure we remain viable and relevant,” said an RBS statement.

According to RBS, there was a 30% drop in branch transactions between 2010 and 2014.

RBS’s ongoing review of its branch network is taking its toll on staff. In April 2016, the bank said it was closing 32 branches and cutting 600 jobs, saying this was down to customers’ changing banking habits. A total of 200 job cuts were announced in London, with around 400 in the Midlands and north England also being lost.

“This is nothing short of a year-long cull of local branches across the country,” said Rob MacGregor, national officer at the Unite union.

“RBS seem to be sending a message that properly staffed branch services are only for the privileged.”

Read more about digital banking

RBS has cut more than 1,000 jobs and closed brances over the past few months.

UK citizens use a mix of channels to interact with their banks and make transactions, according to recent Forrester research. It found that 28% use mobile banking, with 73% now banking online, compared with 69% in 2015

But the Forrester research also revealed that a significant 36% of customers still visit bank branches.

“Despite the migration of routine interactions to digital channels, many customers still want to visit a branch and talk to someone when buying a product or seeking advice,” said Forrester analyst Aurélie L’Hostis.

Read more on IT for financial services

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