Weather Icon 16.8°C Partly Cloudy
Three RBS branches to close across Tameside
Tuesday 1st May 2018 @ 15:01 by Tom Greggan
Ashton Denton & Audenshaw Droylsden Gorton & Openshaw Hyde Tameside

Three branches of RBS across Tameside are to close later this year.

The banking giant announced the closure of 162 branches earlier today, at a cost of 792 jobs.

Now, it’s been confirmed that branches in Ashton, Denton and Hyde will close, as well as nearby branches in Gorton, Oldham and Stockport. Branches in Droylsden and Shaw have survived the cull.

RBS say all the branches to close are within 0.6-2.5 miles of another RBS or Natwest branch and that in the future, RBS customers will be able to use Natwest branches.

An RBS spokesman said: “We are no longer launching Williams & Glyn as a challenger bank, and we now have two branch networks operating in close proximity to each other; NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland, in England and Wales.

“As a result, we have had to review our overall branch footprint in England and Wales and we’ve made the difficult decision to close a number of Royal Bank of Scotland branches.

“Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland in England & Wales will be able to use NatWest branches instead for their everyday banking needs.”

All three of Tameside’s MPs are to lose an RBS branch in their constituency, and all three reacted to the news with dismay.

Speaking about the closure of the Denton branch, local MP Andrew Gwynne said: “This is a bitter blow for the high street coming so soon after the closure of the Natwest at Crown Point, which is coincidently part of the same group.

“Given that the Government have given a £5 billion tax break to the banks, it seems that the only thing that counts these days isn’t customer service and supporting communities, but rather a return to the bad of days of putting profit ahead of people.

“Coming only days after RBS reported 206% rise in profits, to £792 million in the first quarter this year, people will wonder why we bailed out the banks in the first place.”

Tameside’s MPs will all lose an RBS branch from their constituency.

Stalybridge & Hyde MP Jonathan Reynold, added: “I’m extremely disappointed to see RBS closing yet more branches, including in Hyde. Hyde already has the vacant ghost of HSBC looming over the market place, and losing another bank is a major blow to our town.

“RBS must put concrete plans in place to ensure vulnerable customers do not suffer. I’ve got constituents who have already changed their bank provider –some more than once- in order to keep the use of a local branch, but after all of that hassle, their latest bank shuts up shop too.

“As Shadow Economic Secretary, I’m proud that a Labour Government would introduce mandatory consultation on bank closures. Online banking may be on the rise but banks should not be able to abandon communities like ours without so much as a conversation.

“The future of Hyde is bright with several excellent enterprises popping up but there’s no denying this is an extremely frustrating setback.”

Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton, Droylsden and Failsworth, has two RBS branches in her constituency. The Droylsden branch will remain open but the Ashton branch will in just a couple of months. “I am dismayed to hear that the RBS branch on Stamford Street in Ashton is to be closed at the end of July,” she said. “High street banks are key drivers of footfall in to our town centres and the implications of closures are far wider than just forcing customers to travel elsewhere for banking services.

“This is particularly disappointing given that my constituents helped bail out RBS with taxpayers money during the banking crisis. There is surely a case to be made that banks provide social value to the communities they serve and profit should not be the only driver in deciding which branches are retained.”

Reacting to the news, Unite’s national officer, Rob MacGregor, said: “The Williams & 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 & Glyn customers and staff.”

Full list of dates and closures:

Ashton – July 26th

Oldham – August 2nd

Hyde – August 22nd

Denton – November 1st

Gorton – November 6th

Stockport – November 12th