Royal Bank of Scotland has been accused of “turning its back” on communities across Scotland after dropping the axe on dozens more branches throughout the country.
Some 30 branches are to be wound up as part of 158 closures across the UK and 176 full-time posts in Scotland will be affected.
RBS said the decision was based on a “dramatic shift” in the way its customers bank, with more people using mobile and online facilities to manage their finances.
But with the majority of the affected branches based in towns and villages, RBS has been accused of disloyalty.
Unions warned the bank’s strategy “risks cutting too far” and urged RBS and the UK government to put in place a moratorium on further branch closures.
The branches to close are: Anstruther; Banchory; Bishop- briggs; Blantyre, Buckie; Cowdenbeath; Cumnock; Cupar; Dalgety Bay; Denny; Forres; Girvan; Glasgow Alexandra Parade; Glasgow Anniesland Cross; Glasgow Burnside; Glasgow Crosshill; Glasgow Govan; Grangemouth; Kilsyth; Kirkcaldy Central; Leven; Mauchline; Newton Mearns; Newton Stewart; Prestwick; Stenhousemuir; Stonehaven, Troon; Westhill and Whitburn.
Across the UK, the decision will affect a further 128 NatWest branches. In all, 770 staff will be affected by the closures, but RBS said 300 will be moved to newly created roles, which include “community bankers”.
An RBS spokesman said: “We interact with our customers over 20 times more through digital channels than physical ones. As customers change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them.
“The role of the branch is fast moving to a centre for advice, away from basic transactions. While the branch will still be a core part of our offering to customers, inevitably some branches will have to close.”
Lyn Turner, Unite’s regional officer, said: “RBS is turning its back on the communities that have been the foundation of their business for generations. That’s bad news for our members who now have to live with the threat of redundancy – and it’s bad news for customers and businesses.
Andy Willox, Scottish policy convenor at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We know that bank branches are closing faster in Scotland – and we’re frustrated to see RBS show so little loyalty to our high streets.
“Branch closures put pressure on local economies and make it harder for local firms to access banking services.