The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) decision today (Tuesday 1 May) to close 60 per cent of its Williams and Glyn bank branch network represents the demolition of the bank’s customer services responsibilities according to Unite, the country largest union.
Unite, which represents the bank’s workforce, has said that the closure plans has shocked the staff who have today been told of the closure of 162 branches impacting 993 members of staff across the country.
Unite analysis has found that in the case of 71 of the 162 branches closing customers will be forced to make return journeys of around 25 miles. This is even more astounding in Scotland where RBS has been forced to observe a moratorium in relation to ten branches previously identified for closure. Unite is calling for these disastrous plans to be halted.
Rob MacGregor Unite national officer said: “The Williams and Glyn saga rolls on as Royal Bank of Scotland continues with its shambolically poor management of this business. How does a taxpayer funded institution spend £1.8 billion on a failed IT project and in the next breath demolish the much needed local bank branches?
“Today nearly 1,000 employees have finally been told of their dark futures because the bank has been calamitously managed for too long. Ending years of speculation Royal Bank of Scotland has effectively turned its back on the Williams and Glyn customers and staff.
“The TSB computer systems crash last week has demonstrated without question that the banking system needs its branch network more than it ever has. Unite is calling on the Royal Bank of Scotland management not to abandon their responsibilities to the communities across the country who depend on Williams and Glynn banking facilities. These plans can not be put into motion for the sake of consumers and staff.
“The reality is that as a result of these planned closures the overwhelming majority of customers will find themselves without access to full banking facilities and in the most extreme examples some will find themselves having to make a round trip of circa 130 miles.”
The bank spent £1.8 billion last year trying to set up Williams and Glyn as a stand-alone bank. Nobody has been held to account for this enormous failed IT project and yet the workforce is paying the price for such poor management in the form of their jobs.
Affected branches will close in two tranches, the first in July and August 2018 with the remainder closing in October and November 2018. The north-west region is one of the biggest impacted with 62 branches closing, while all other regions across England and Wales will also see branch closures.
The union is clear that the bank is relying on the nearby presence of another branch be that RBS or NatWest (where limited services only will be available), and/or a post office which provides a restricted counter service only. The reality is that as a result of these planned closures the overwhelming majority of customers will find themselves without access to full banking facilities and in the most extreme examples some will find themselves having to make a round trip of circa 130 miles.
For further information contact Saba Edwards; 020 7611 2565.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.