RBS chief executive ‘personally reviewed’ branch closures

Ross McEwan

Ross McEwan, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, has told the lender’s AGM in Edinburgh that he personally reviewed all of its proposed branch closures.

RBS announced plans in December to close a further 62 branches in Scotland, just months after it announced the closure of 30 branches.

Mr McEwan has now defended the closures, which would leave Scotland with fewer than 100 branches, The Herald reports.

He told the RBS AGM: “I myself went through it twice on all the branch closures.”

He added that branch transactions have fallen by 36 per cent since 2014 and cheque usage is down 39 per cent over the same period.

The decline in branch activity has coincided with a five per cent increase in total payment volumes driven by digital platforms.

However, Mr McEwan insisted: “Having bricks and mortars in a world that’s going more and more digital will be problematic but we have thought about the ramifications on vulnerable customers.”

He said that vulnerable customers could continue to take advantage of services in mobile branches and post offices.

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