A lot of changes are happening in the financial world as we know it. One of the bigger changes is how bank tellers are slowly becoming obsolete. Although they aren’t completely without merit, most of their tasks are handled by AI and app-based solutions. Royal Bank of Scotland decides to close 259 of its branches. As a result, 680 people will be out of a job in the very near future.

It won’t be a great Christmas for over 650 Royal Bank of Scotland employees. They are not the first major UK -based financial institution to announce massive layoffs. Lloyds Banking Group is doing virtually the same, albeit in a different capacity. In the case of RBS, one in four branches will be closed in the very near future. That means 259 locations will cease to exist, which isn’t necessarily a positive trend. At the same time, such closures are to be expected in this era of mobile and online banking.

Royal Bank of Scotland Makes a Tough Decision

This closure of so many branches does come as a rather big shock to RBS employees. While it is evident there are fewer customers visiting branches, such a drastic decision wasn’t expected. Closing some branches makes a lot of sense, but one in four is a rather steep number. According to Royal Bank of Scotland, as much as 40% fewer customers visit bank branches. This coincides with the mounting number of mobile transactions, which are up by 73%.

Unite National Officer Rob MacGregor voices his criticism:

“The Royal Bank of Scotland has decided to decimate its bank branch network. Now serious questions need to be asked about whether these closures mark the end of branch network banking. This announcement will forever change the face of banking in this country.”

Initially, around 1,000 jobs were on the verge of disappearing. With a few redeployments, that number was pushed back to 680. It is still a major layoff which will make a lot of people unhappy. Royal Bank of Scotland will not be the last bank across the UK to cut jobs and close branches, though. It is evident a lot of things are changing in the financial sector. Consumers are less interested in visiting bank branches. This is the natural order of things, unfortunately.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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About Author

JP Buntinx is a 30-year old FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world's leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he is working to achieve the same level of respect in the FinTech sector.

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