RBS said scrap the branch closure to help vulnerable customers

MPs have urged RBS to abandon plans to cut about 62 branches in Scotland, warning of the “devastating” impact on society.

The Committee for Scotland told to slash spending on Royal Bank of Scotland branch network will be particularly hit vulnerable customers.

If RBS is pressing ahead, it will cause the loss of 158 jobs and leave Scotland with 89 branches across the country.

Britain’s biggest banks were to cut their bricks-and-mortar branches as they look to cut costs. RBS said the closures were a response to the growing number of customers using mobile and online banking.

In the Committee’s report said: “the closure of these offices will be a crushing blow to affected communities, destruction of vital services relied upon by businesses and disproportionately vulnerable customers. We do not believe that the RBS is fully aware of the damage these closures will do for communities and businesses that rely on these branches”.

The Committee for Scotland told to slash spending on Royal Bank of Scotland branch network will be particularly hit vulnerable customers.

Credit:
PA

The Committee urged the UK government to use any influence as a shareholder pressure RBS to reconsider.

Pete Wishart, the Chairman of the Committee, adds: “RBS does not consult adequately and even at this last stage should reconsider its decision to close these branches.”

The pressure comes as Ross McEwan, chief Executive RBS, braces for a showdown with investors on Wednesday, when the lender holds its annual meeting in Edinburgh.

The Bank, which 72pc owned by the taxpayer, is expected to face questions about when dividend payments will resume and how quickly it will be privatized after reaching $4.9 billion (£3.6 billion) settlement with U.S. authorities earlier this month.

The long-awaited approval was caused by claims that RBS had sold toxic mortgage bonds ahead of the financial crisis.

Mr. McEwan said the lender plans to have conversations with the regulator “in the next month or so” for the payment of the shares.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond said that the settlement of the us marked “a significant milestone” for RBS and will help “pave the way for implementation by the taxpayer of shares owned by them”.

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