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More than 150 Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest branches set to close

The branch closures are expected to affect around 470 jobs. Credit: PA

More than 150 Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest branches are to close after a "dramatic shift" in customer banking, it has been announced.

The decision will affect 30 RBS and 128 NatWest branches and hit around 470 jobs.

The company said it had more customers are using mobile and online banking over traditional branch counters.

"We have seen a dramatic shift in the way our customers are choosing to bank," a statement said.

"Simple transactions undertaken in branch at NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland have fallen by 43% since 2010, while online and mobile transactions have increased by more than 400%."

Transactions in bank branches have fallen, according to RBS. Credit: PA
700
staff will be affected by the closures, but 300 will be moved to other jobs.

Two new roles have been created - community banker and NatWest or Royal Bank of Scotland TechXpert.

Community bankers will serve the local area, with a particular focus on rural communities, providing customers with personal assistance and support.

There will be 50 community banks in post across the UK by the end of 2017, the bank said.

The specialist taskforce of NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland TechXperts will support customers with training and support with digital skills.

An RBS spokesman said: "We interact with our customers over 20 times more through digital channels than physical ones. We have 4.2 million personal mobile users, up by over two million since 2014. As customers change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them.

"While the branch will still be a core part of our offering to customers, inevitably some branches will have to close, they added.

Following the closures there will be 151 RBS and 856 NatWest branches left.