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Natwest to cut 550 jobs in branches and close one office

Natwest bank branch

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Natwest is cutting 550 jobs in branches across the UK and closing one of its remaining offices in London.

It said the cuts would be made entirely through voluntary redundancies and there would be no branch closures.

The job losses are part of a cost-cutting drive as the lender tries to adapt to more people banking online.

The trend has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic as people have stayed away from high streets and used physical branches less.

A NatWest spokesperson said: “We have to respond to changing customer behaviour and the rising customer demand for digital banking services.

“We have taken the decision to invite applications for voluntary redundancy and will support those colleagues who apply with a comprehensive support package.”

The bank said the cuts had been on the cards before the pandemic, as it had seen a steady decline in branch transactions over the past two years.

It has also been trying to achieve £250m of cost savings to make itself more competitive.

However, Covid-19 has accelerated the shift away from people banking in branches, putting pressure on already struggling lenders.

Since lockdown restrictions were eased, many branches have reduced their opening hours, while some have remained shut due to staffing issues.

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