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NatWest to shut bank branch for second time

NatWest George St
The former RBS branch in Edinburgh was reopened under the NatWest brand in 2020 (pic: Terry Murden)

NatWest is closing five branches of Royal Bank of Scotland, including one recently rescued branch in Edinburgh.

The bank is shutting a further 43 outlets across the UK as transactions increasingly move online.

Branches closing in Scotland are: 262 Union Street, Aberdeen; 19 Miller Road, Ayr; 1 Courthouse Square, Dundee; 109 George Street, Edinburgh; 14 Blythswood Square, Glasgow.

The branch in George Street, Edinburgh was closed by RBS, but was reopened as a NatWest branch in January 2020.

The branches will close between January and March next year and it means there will be no NatWest branded branches in Scotland despite the company having its headquarters in Edinburgh.

NatWest said it will contact its vulnerable customers to provide support following the announcement.

The bank said average counter transactions had shrunk by nearly two-thirds between January 2019 and January 2022. It saw a 39% rise in customers using mobile apps during the same period.

A spokesperson said: “As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking because it is faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.

“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.”

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