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May 1, 2018

RBS finally comes clean on its Williams & Glyn plans

By Patrick Brusnahan

RBS has announced the cancellation of its Williams & Glyn (W&G) “challenger bank” plans. This will lead to the initial closure of 162 branches, out of 280, and a loss of 792 jobs.

Question marks remain on the future of the remaining 118 W&G branches.

As recently as December 2017, RBS CEO Ross McEwan stated that RBS would not be forced to sell branches it planned to spin off under the W&G brand. He also claimed the brand would bring “welcome clarity four our customers and staff”.

As previously reported by RBI, RBS planned to list W&G on the London Stock Exchange with a then 307 strong branch network serving about 1.4 million retail customers and more than 200,000 SME customers.

Analysis from trade union Unite has found that in the case of 71 of the 162 branches closing customers will be forced to make return journeys of around 25 miles.

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: “The Williams and Glyn saga rolls on as Royal Bank of Scotland continues with its shambolically poor management of this business. How does a taxpayer funded institution spend £1.8bn on a failed IT project and in the next breath demolish the much needed local bank branches?

“Today, nearly 1,000 employees have finally been told of their dark futures because the bank has been calamitously managed for too long. Ending years of speculation Royal Bank of Scotland has effectively turned its back on the Williams and Glyn customers and staff.”

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