RBS share price: Bailed-out lender to close 44 branches

on Apr 3, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020

iNVEZZ.com, Thursday, April 3: Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (LON:RBS) will close 44 branches in the UK, with 14 of them classed as ‘last banks in town’, the Guardian has reported. The move comes as RBS chief executive Ross McEwan is looking to reduce costs by shrinking the bailed-out lender’s operations.

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The RBS share price has shed about 0.4 percent in London this morning.
**RBS to close 44 branches**
The Guardian yesterday reported that RBS customers had been told about the closures of 44 branches across the UK, from Scotland to the south coast of England. The newspaper notes that no public announcement has been made.
Fourteen of the branches are classed as “the last branch in town” and are only open for a few hours a week. An RBS spokesperson told Reuters that there had been a 30 percent drop in branch transactions since 2010 with an increasing number of customers banking where and when it was convenient for them.

“We have to adapt to what our customers want, which is why we are investing in a range of other ways our customers can bank with us,” the spokesperson added.
The decision to close the branches has angered campaigners who fear it will damage local communities.
The Guardian quoted Derek French, who runs the campaign for community banking services, as saying that the decision to close some of the branches could encourage rivals to start shutting down branches where they were the last in town.

Charlotte Webster, campaign director of Move your Money, told The Scotsman that RBS had “consistently undermined the interests of its customers and wider society since being bailed out in 2008”.
Cutting costs
The news of the pending branch closures comes as RBS chief executive Ross McEwan is looking to shrink the lender’s operations. In February’s final results announcement, McEwan said that he was planning to cut the lender’s divisions from seven to three. (RBS share price down 5% as lender announces £8.24bn full-year loss)

RBS is also selling some of its operations, including its US retail franchise Citizens, while the Williams & Glyn brand, which has been dormant for nearly 30 years, is due to return to the high street via an initial public offering with the process of separation from RBS being well under way.
**As of 09:05 BST, buy RBS shares at 321.70p.**
**As of 09:05 BST, sell RBS shares at 321.50p.**


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