An Eastbourne bank is to close.
Bosses at the Royal Bank of Scotland have today (Wednesday) confirmed the branch in Gildredge Road will shut early next year – along with 53 other branches across England and Wales following a review.
Staff are expected to be made redundant.
The bank said in a statement this lunchtime the move was linked to it not having to sell its Williams & Glyn business and as a result, the group has branches in close proximity to each other and is seeking to reduce overlap.
A spokesperson said, “We have taken the difficult decision to close the Royal Bank of Scotland Eastbourne branch on January 22 2019.
“Customers in Eastbourne can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local banking options. These include online and mobile banking, telephony, the post office and the NatWest Eastbourne branch which is less than a mile away.
He said, “The way customers are choosing to bank has changed rapidly. Today, almost half of our customers are choosing to bank only with our mobile and online banking services – that’s nearly twice as many customers using our digital services than visit a branch.
“Since 2012 we have seen the way in which people use Eastbourne branch change, with 72 per cent of customers already banking in other ways locally. Transactions at Eastbourne have reduced by 48 per cent since 2012 with only 28 customers now visiting the branch on a regular weekly basis.
“We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable customers and regular branch users. We are closely following the Access to Banking Standard and we have made our decision after careful consideration of a wide range of factors including changes in customer usage of the branch over a long period of time.”
Responding, the Eastbourne MP said he was absolutely staggered at the ‘deplorable’ decision to close.
Stephen Lloyd said, “I am extremely disappointed to hear the news that such a major retail bank as RBS, in Eastbourne, have decided that they will be closing the branch in January next year. RBS and its preceding brands, Williams & Glyn, has been trading in Eastbourne’s town centre for many years.
“I also know a lot of the staff and can just appreciate how shattered they must be to get such disappointing news. With Eastbourne being a successful and growing economy, the significant sums being spent on re-doing our town centre shopping complex which is only a few months away from opening, I am absolutely staggered that RBS have chosen to make such a short-sighted retrograde step.
“I will be writing to the Chief Executive of RBS immediately demanding a meeting to assess whether or not this deplorable decision can be reversed.”