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Beaufort Securities Breakfast Alert : RBS to close 259 branches and shed jobs

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Markets


Europe
The FTSE-100 finished yesterday's session 0.90% lower at 7,326.67, whilst the FTSE AIM All-Share index was down 0.32% at 1,026.54. In continental Europe, the CAC-40 finished 0.47% lower at 5,372.79 whilst the DAX was down 0.29% at 13,023.98.
Wall Street
Last night in New York, the Dow Jones closed 1.39% higher at 24,272.35, the S&P 500 added 0.82% to end at 2,647.58 and the Nasdaq finished 0.78% higher at 6,873.97.
Asia
In Asian markets this morning, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.61% at 22,862.53, while the Hang Seng was 0.28% lower at 29,097.01.
Oil
In early trade today, WTI crude was 0.37% higher at $57.61 per barrel and Brent was up 0.46% at $662.92.


Headlines
RBS to close 259 branches and shed jobs - LON:RBS
RBS says it will close 259 branches and cut 680 jobs as it reduces costs and encourages customers to use online and mobile services. The closures involve 62 Royal Bank of Scotland and 197 NatWest branches. RBS said it would try to ensure compulsory redundancies were "kept to an absolute minimum". "We realise this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected," the bank said. An RBS spokesperson said: "More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile. "Since 2014 the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40% and mobile transactions have increased by 73% over the same period. Over 5 million customers now use our mobile banking app and one in five only bank with us digitally." The Unite union, which represents staff across RBS, said serious questions needed to be asked about whether the closures marked the end of branch network banking. Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer said: "This announcement will forever change the face of banking in this country resulting in over a thousand staff losing their jobs and hundreds of High Streets without any banking facilities."

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