And finally…RBS latest to encroach on 144 year-old bank holiday tradition
The 144 year-old tradition of banks closing to give us all a day off may be under an ever-increasing threat after 80 per cent taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland announced that it is to open 34 branches across the UK on Monday’s Spring bank holiday.
The Bank Holidays Act was originally passed by parliament in 1871, initially guaranteeing four bank holidays, on top of Good Friday and Christmas Day.
But his year, some the bailed-out bank’s more unfortunate staff will join those of rivals Barclay’s 40-50 affected branches and all of Metro Bank’s UK employees who will man all of its 34 branches as usual.
RBS said it was opening its busiest branches in cities including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, London, Manchester and Newcastle on May 4, the traditional break for the UK’s workers but that will this year for the first time see more than a hundred banks branches open to the public.
The Edinburgh-based lender said it has taken the decision because there was significant demand on a bank holiday from customers who want to discuss mortgages, or other banking matters –predictably, because many of them are not working themselves.
Jane Howard, managing director of branch and private banking for RBS and NatWest said: “Many of our customers have busy lives, but are off work on a bank holiday.”
“At a time when many people are thinking of buying a house, we’re breaking with tradition and opening our busiest branches,” she said.
However, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Santander said they had no plans to open on bank holidays.
RBS will open its Glasgow branch at 10 Gordon Street, its Edinburgh West End branch at 142/144 Princes Street, and at 78 Union Street, Aberdeen.