Fresh bank branch closures announced by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) riskwiping out access tovital one-to-one financial supportforbritain’s small firms, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned.
After the bailed-out lender confirmed the closure of 62 RBS and 197 NatWest branches a quarter of its entire network the bank’s chief executive, Ross McEwan, pointed to the rise of mobile banking in leading to an online-first strategy.
However, FSB chairman Mike Cherry rejected the notion that online services could eventually meet every banking need of Britain’s entrepreneurs.
almost all of our members are using online banking. However, small firms still hugely value the in-person support they receive at branches, particularly when it comes to completing complex transactions and making big financial decisions. For many, these are relationships that have built up over years, ” Cherry explained.
The latest wave of RBS closures followed Barclays’ confirmation in August that it will close 54 branches this month.The rise inbank closureshas seen Britain’s network of branches halve in the last 25 years to just 8, 000, and a further 50 per cent is predicted in the next ten years.
Read more about how bank branch closures are affecting small firms: