Posted by: westlancashirerecord | September 6, 2018

The Last Bank In Town Is Closing In Every Town

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)  is preparing to shut down another 54 branches, resulting in the loss of 258 jobs. Included are Burscough Bridge and Parbold, set to close on 29 January 2019. Ormskirk goes on 27 November, Skelmersdale went in May.

The bank said that the latest closures, together with those announced in May, were linked to its decision not to sell its Williams & Glyn business. It also admitted that a quarter of those earmarked to shut in the latest wave are the last bank in town sparking fierce criticism from consumer and business groups.

RBS has now announced a total of branch 603 closures since March 2017. An RBS spokesman said “As we are no longer launching Williams & Glyn as a challenger bank we now have two branch networks operating in close proximity to each other in England and Wales, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.

“As a result we have reviewed our overall branch footprint in England and Wales and have made the difficult decision to close 54 Royal Bank of Scotland branches. Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland in England and Wales will be able to use NatWest branches and local post offices for their everyday banking needs”.

To maintain financial stability at the height of the financial crisis, the UK government injected a total of £45.5 billion into the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) between October 2008 and December 2009. In December 2009 a further tranche of B shares were acquired leading to a total economic ownership of 84.4%. By 5th June 2018 the Government had made a placing of 925m shares at 271p, reducing its ownership of ordinary shares from 70.1% to 62.4%.

It comes as no surprise that Rosie Cooper MP  is cross with RBS. “RBS is a taxpayer funded bank who are simply withdrawing from the North of England. In our area there will only be two RBS banks, one in Liverpool and one in Southport. This is simply not good enough. As the taxpayer owns 62.4 per cent of the bank, I am calling on the Chancellor to hold RBS to account and ensure that taxpayers are treated fairly wherever they live and are not just looking after those in the South of England.

“RBS needs to explain why they have turned their back on the North West and explain why this area has been hit so much harder than the rest of the country. Why should Northwest taxpayers’ money be used to prop up a bank which has practically disowned this region? As long as they are getting our taxpayer pounds they don’t care that they are closing branches in areas where there isn’t a good transport infrastructure and that is penalising those who are elderly, infirm or don’t have their own transport. Taxpayers will also want to know what we are getting for our money if it’s not banks!”

RBS latest claim? “We are building a more sustainable bank” . You couldn’t make it up!


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