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Royal Bank of Scotland is closing one quarter of its UK local branch network and cutting 680 jobs as customers move to online banking, it said on Friday.

The closures will affect 259 branches in total — 62 RBS and 197 NatWest — RBS said, leaving it with 744 branches across the UK.

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 per cent and mobile transactions have increased by 73 per cent over the same period. Over 5m customers now use our mobile banking app and one in five only bank with us digitally.

The closures are part of a dramatic reduction by RBS of its standalone presence on the British high street.

It is the second time in nine months that the majority government-owned bank has announced it is shutting branches as it attempts to cut costs and boost profits. In March, it said it was closing 158 local bank branches, after instigating 191 closures over the previous two years.

Together with the branch closures announced on Friday, RBS will have cut more than one third of its UK branch network since the start of the 2017.

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