RBS shamed for closing hundreds of its branches: bank named Britain’s worst offender
RBS has been named and shamed as the bank that has closed most of its branches after closing hundreds of high street locations over the last eight years.
The bank, which is owned by NatWest and was bailed out by taxpayers during the last financial crisis, has closed more than 80 percent of its locations since 2015.
It is the worst offender among major high street banks as it has closed most of its branch network, the Daily Mail can reveal.
RBS has closed 451 branches since 2015 and is preparing to close two more this year, leaving just 104 sites open.
Banks have argued that branch closures are necessary because most customers now prefer to manage their finances online.
Disappearance: RBS, which is owned by NatWest and was bailed out by taxpayers during the last financial crisis, has closed more than 80% of its sites since 2015
But activists said mass closures risk “cutting off” older people who prefer to use in-person services.
According to Charity Independent Age, some older customers do not have access to the internet – either because of a lack of trust or because of cost – and many are afraid of being scammed online.
The charity’s director, John Palmer, said: “It is very worrying that so many older people may not have access to a bank branch.” “Banks need to ensure that closing branches does not prevent people from accessing theirs later in life Finances denied.”
Figures from the consumer group Which? The credit union has closed 77.3 percent of its network over the past eight years, closing 170 locations. There are only 50 branches left.
Barclays has closed 74.4 per cent of its network since 2015, leaving just 314 branches available to customers across the country. By the end of 2023, it will have closed 1,140 locations – more than any other bank.
HSBC has also closed a large number of its branches and only has 335 locations. Since 2015, the company has closed 743 locations, representing 68.3 percent of its stores.
TSB has closed 423 locations – 66.9 per cent of its 2015 figure – and Virgin Money has closed 277 locations, representing 64.7 per cent of its network.
NatWest, which owns RBS, has closed 61.8 percent of its sites.
The bank, rocked by the Nigel Farage debanking scandal this summer, will have closed 838 locations by the end of 2023.
NatWest and RBS have closed a combined 1,291 branches since 2015. NatWest did not respond to a request for comment.
Lloyds customers will have lost access to 736 branches by the end of the year, totaling 52.5 per cent of the network.
Lloyds Banking Group also includes Bank of Scotland and Halifax, which have lost 45.4 percent and 26.7 percent of their networks respectively.
Santander has closed 477 locations – more than half of its branches at 51.8 percent – and has 444 remaining.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Another week and another set of figures that clearly illustrate the rapid decline in bank branches across the country.”
“The ongoing spate of bank closures in recent years has been a devastating blow to millions of older people.”
Banks said they would adapt to changing customer behavior and try to offer some in-person services, including pop-up sites and banking hubs, if a permanent site closes.
A spokesman for UK Finance, which represents the banking sector, said: “A decision to close a branch is never taken lightly and only after a comprehensive review of usage and other options locally.”