Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is preparing to shut down another 54 branches, resulting in the loss of 258 jobs.
The banking group’s move follows plans announced in May to close 62 branches across England and Wales, with the loss of around 792 jobs.
The bank said that the latest closures, together with those announced in May, were linked to its decision not to sell its Williams & Glyn business.
It also admitted that a quarter of those earmarked to shut in the latest wave are the last bank in town – sparking fierce criticism from consumer and business groups.
RBS has now announced a total of branch 603 closures since March 2017.
The bank has previously blamed falling branch business and growing numbers of digital banking customers for shutting sites in recent years.
The bank, which is still 62% owned by the taxpayer after its 2008 bailout, said it has branches in close proximity to each other and is seeking to reduce overlap.
An RBS spokesman said: “As we are no longer launching Williams & Glyn as a challenger bank we now have two branch networks operating in close proximity to each other in England and Wales – NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland.
“As a result we have reviewed our overall branch footprint in England and Wales and have made the difficult decision to close 54 Royal Bank of Scotland branches. Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland in England and Wales will be able to use NatWest branches and local post offices for their everyday banking needs.”
Rob MacGregor, of union Unite, said: “This announcement heaps further misery on communities across England and Wales that have already seen the demise of local banking services as branches that were signposted by the bank earlier in 2018 as an alternative for customers whose branches were closing, now suffering a similar fate.”
The locations of the latest RBS branch closures are:
:: Kensington High Street
:: Kingston Upon Thames
:: London Notting Hill Gate
:: Cardiff Roath
:: Manchester Droylsden
:: Bamber Bridge
:: Buxton High Street
:: Bolton Harwood
:: Sheffield Ecclesfield
:: South Elmsall
:: Hazel Grove
:: Burscough Bridge
:: Blackpool Talbot Square