Royal Bank of Scotland is to close 162 branches in England and Wales, resulting in 792 job losses.
The bank, which is still 72% owned by the taxpayer, said the closures were due to the branches previously being earmarked for conversion to the failed brand Williams & Glyn.
In a statement, RBS said: “Following a review of the branch network in England and Wales a decision has been taken to close 162 Royal Bank of Scotland branches.
“As a result of this process, around 792 roles will be made redundant, and we will seek to support our colleagues with the option to leave on a voluntary basis.”
HuffPost UK understands many of the affected branches are in the north-west of England.
Last year, RBS avoided the compulsory sale of Williams & Glyn, which had been ordered by regulators as part of the bank’s obligations under state aid rules following its £45bn government bailout at the height of the financial crisis.
A total of 109 branches will close in late July and August 2018. These branches are within 0.6 miles of another Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest branch, the group said.
A further 53 branches will close in November 2018, all of which are between 0.6 and 2.5 miles of another Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest branch.
Rob MacGregor, of trade union Unite, said: “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 and Glyn customers and staff.”
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 and Wales will be able to use NatWest branches instead for their everyday banking needs.
“We now provide our customers with more ways to bank with us than ever before – customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options to suit their needs.”
RBS also pointed out that since 2014, branch transactions across its English and Welsh operations are down 30%, while there has been a 53% increase in the number of customers using mobile banking, and mobile transactions have increased by 74%.
RBS declined to confirm the specific branches affected but said confirmation would come in due course.
However a list seen by HuffPost UK suggests the following locations will close: