Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will close 23 of its 31 branches in India by the end of the year to focus only on big cities.
“As part of the strategic business decision, it (RBS) has started the process of consolidating its retail and commercial banking business to maintain a presence in eight major business hubs,” a statement released by the bank said on Sunday.
The bank, which had unsuccessfully tried selling its network to its peer from the foreign lending space HSBC, will have presence only in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and Vadodara.
Its branches at Agra, Jodhpur, Jalandhar, Kolhapur, Mangalore, Shastri Park (New Delhi) and Udaipur will be the first ones to be closed.
Other branches include those at Tirupur, Salem, Lucknow, Moradabad, Nasik, Surat, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Panipat and Jalandhar, among others.
“We will ensure the smoothest possible transition for our customers as well as employees who may be affected by this consolidation,” said Brijesh Mehra, managing director and country head, international banking, RBS.
About 1,000 jobs were to be axed as a result of the consolidation, according to earlier reports.
India will, however, continue to be the third-largest employment centre for the RBS group globally and the lender will continue to invest in the country, said Mehra.
Private sector lender Yes Bank had earlier this year evinced interest in acquiring RBS’ retail operations.