Will Royal Bank of Scotland in St Albans close?

Royal Bank of Scotland in St Albans. Picture: Google Maps

Royal Bank of Scotland in St Albans. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is closing more than 150 branches across England and Wales - but how will St Albans customers be affected?

The company was planning to merge some RBS and NatWest banks under a separate branding, Williams and Glyn, which would operate as a new bank with different incentives for consumers.

However, the plans have fallen through and instead, RBS has decided to axe 162 branches which are close to a NatWest.

There are expected to be 792 redundancies across England and Wales as a result of the closures.

A branch on St Peter’s Street will shut on August 9, and the next closest RBS is in Watford. The bank has stressed there is a NatWest just up the road, which customers can use.

There is also a Post Office nearby where customers can see their balance, withdraw or pay in cash, and make cheques deposits with a pre-printed

paying-in slip.

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An RBS spokesperson said it was a difficult decision: “Customers of RBS in England and Wales will be able to use NatWest branches instead for their everyday banking needs.

“Furthermore, the way customers bank with us has changed radically over the last few years. Since 2014, branch transactions across RBS in England and Wales are down 30 per cent.

“During this same period, there has been a 53 per cent increase in the number of customers using mobile banking and mobile transactions have increased by 74 per cent. We now provide our customers with more ways to bank with us than ever before – customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options to suit their needs.”

They said compulsory redundancies would be kept to a minimum, but described the news as difficult.

Rob MacGregor, national officer of the union which represent RBS employees, Unite, said: “The Williams and Glyn saga rolls on as RBS 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?”

RBS has launched a specialist taskforce of TechXperts to support customers with digital banking, if they do not feel comfortable with the technology.