NatWest announces it will close a Portsmouth branch

NatWest is closing several branches
NatWest is closing several branches
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A PORTSMOUTH bank will shut as part of a swathe of closures across the country that will see hundreds of people lose their jobs.

Royal Bank of Scotland is to close 259 branches – 62 RBS branches and 197 NatWest outlets – resulting in 680 job losses after the state-backed lender said more people are choosing to bank online or on mobile.

One of those to go is the branch at Anchorage Park in Portsmouth, which will shut on May 23 next year.

The nearest branch is in Cosham, just over two and a half miles away.

A spokeswoman said more people were choosing to bank online, and that customers could also do some bank at post office branches.

‘We provide our customers with more ways to bank than ever before,’ she said. ‘Customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options. The way people bank with us has changed radically over the last few years: since 2014, the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40 per cent.

‘During the same period mobile transactions have increased by 73 per cent; and in the first half of 2017, there were 1.1 billion mobile and online transactions carried out by our customers: an increase of 41 per cent since 2014.’

The bank, still 72 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is the third this week to announce branch closures and job cuts, following Lloyds and Yorkshire Building Society.

A total of 62 RBS branches and 197 NatWest outlets will be closed by mid 2018 as part of the move and 1,000 roles will be affected.

However, RBS hopes to limit the number of redundancies to 680 by redeploying the remaining staff.