RBS announces closure of 259 Natwest and Royal Bank of Scotland branches

It is claimed only 99 people a week visit the Bideford NatWest branch, which will close on May 29, 2018. Picture: GoogleIt is claimed only 99 people a week visit the Bideford NatWest branch, which will close on May 29, 2018. Picture: Google

NatWest branches across North Devon are set top close next year.

Owner RBS is closing 259 branches - 62 Royal Bank of Scotland and 197 NatWest – across the UK.

The company announced today (Friday) it would close the Bideford branch on May 29, 2018, the Holsworthy branch on June 14, the Ilfracombe branch on June 18 and the South Molton branch on June 25 and the Ilfracombe branch.

It is understood some 680 jobs will be lost nationwide.

The company said way people bank has changed radically over the last few years and said since 2014 the number of customers using branches across the UK had fallen by 40 per cent.

In Bideford they said the way people used the branch had ‘changed drastically’, with only 99 customers visiting it on a weekly basis.

It claimed the South Molton branch now had only 60 customers a week, as did the Ilfracombe branch and the Holsworthy branch received 42.

In a statement it said: “We are communicating with our customers affected by the closures and pro-actively contacting vulnerable customers and regular branch users.

“We have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months; this has been done so that we can ensure our customers have enough time to consider the right banking options for them and to give us time to support them one-to-one during the transition.”

It said new Community Banker roles would see staff serving in the community and the surrounding areas after the branches close. The service would provide customers with personal assistance, financial advice and support to access non-cash services.