NatWest bank has dealt another blow to the much-beleaguered high street by announcing the closure of 32 of its branches.
The closures will hit both NatWest and branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland – both owned by the same National Westminster Bank company.
Although the closures aren't imminent, they will take place over the next 12 months, with the company claiming that as many staff as possible will be redeployed to other branches, the Mirror reports.
The branches closing will be in Billericay, Borehamwood, Bulwell & Hucknall, Chelsea, Gillingham Kent, Gosforth, Headingley, Hull University, Leatherhead, Leeds Victoria, Manchester Spinningfields Square, Marlow, Nottingham City, Piccadilly & New Bond Street, Ruislip, South Woodford, Swanley Kent, Tavistock Square, Twickenham, Windsor & Eton and Derby Crompton House.
A spokesman for the lender said: “We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.
“We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide them with support and alternatives that work for them.”
“For the vast majority of colleagues at closing branches, we will look to redeploy them to suitable roles within the branch network.
"For the small number of colleagues placed at risk as a result of this announcement, we will seek to manage any redundancies on a voluntary basis, and also explore where possible, redeployment opportunities.”
It is unclear yet just how many staff will be hit by the news, but it is being blamed on a mixture of the pandemic and technology by industry experts.
According to Which?, nearly half of bank branches in the UK have been either closed or are going to close since 2015, with 4,735 closing in the last seven years – 736 of those since 2021.
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