You are here: Home - News -

RBS latest mortgage lender to confirm branch cull leaving advisers to offer human touch

  • 01/12/2017
  • 0
RBS latest mortgage lender to confirm branch cull leaving advisers to offer human touch
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to close 259 branches and shed 680 jobs in the same week that Lloyds announced 49 branch closures.

On whether branch closures are likely to drive more consumers into the arms of intermediaries, John Charcol’s Ray Boulger said: “For most customers looking for a face to face experience, people tend to go to their own bank. If they can’t get to their own bank, they are more likely to seek out a broker.”

The majority of the product transfer market is non-advised at the moment, with 75% of customers going to direct to their lender, added Boulger, who said that this is in conflict with the FCA’s insistence on advised sales.

Without any officially recorded figures, the market is thought to be worth about £100bn a year, with remortgages at about £65bn, but this is likely to spike from next year.

Today’s announcement follows RBS’ closure of 180 branches in March earlier this year, as the rise of digital continues to change the shape of banking and advice relationships, and the move to encourage consumers toward online and mobile services.

Union Unite accused the taxpayer-backed bank of betraying communities and said questions need to be asked about whether this signals ‘the end of high street network banking.’


The rise of the robots

Every high street mortgage lender is working on improving its digital offering both to consumers and the intermediary channel. However, smaller lenders Shawbrook and Together have already launched single product Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and TSB launched its API-enabled broker platform yesterday.

Andrew Montlake, director at London-based broker Coreco said: “Branch closures could be both good and bad for brokers. It’s inevitable that there will be more closures over the coming years as consumer behaviour moves online. Also, with 75% of remortgaging already through brokers, consumers have already voted with their feet.”

He added that with direct to lender product transfers, where providers are offering better rates where customers can sidestep legal and other fees, brokers were never in this business anyway and would never expect to have 100% of the market.

“It’s the lack of advice at this point that’s the danger, with consumers simply pressing a button, unaware there are far better deals for them elsewhere,” he added.

There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in

Business Skills

In this section, we offer short ‘how to’ guides on harder to crack areas of business. From social media, to regulation or niche product areas, we cover it all.


Our journalists interview key industry entrepreneurs, strategists and commentators for day-to-day market insight and a strategic view of where the industry is heading. We offer lessons for success and explore the opportunities for your business

Success in Practice

Here, we share case studies fleshing out best practice to help you decide what could work for your business. Take a look at how others approached complex tasks like launching a new mortgage lender, advising on a new product area or deciding to specialise in another. Learn from others mistakes and triumphs.


Each week, we ask top mortgage and property commentators with a unique perspective to examine a key news headline, market move or regulatory or political issue.


Vote in our weekly poll here. It’s your chance to tell us what you think and be heard on the top news stories of the week. Review our archive to find out what your industry really thinks and all our coverage of the results.

Top Comments

Be part of the conversation on Mortgage Solutions. We want to hear from you. We have a tool called Disqus to tell us which stories get the most comments each week. Every Friday, the team picks the most thoughtful or opinionated contributions from our readers to enjoy again. Don’t forget to share your favourite stories from the site on social media to keep the conversation going.
  • 'There is no value if brokers are just order taking' – Star Letter 16/11/2018 -
  • The Mortgage & Protection Event is finished for 2018 - fantastic event this year! Thank you to all our sponsors & s…
  • Equity release advisers must pre-empt and debunk scare-mongering tactics – Barker -
  • RT @robjupp: Great day yesterday for donations to @MortSleepOut. With Gift Aid, we are now close to £17,000. It would be great to get to £2…

Read previous post:
Millions of mortgage bills rise today as base rate changes take effect

Millions of homeowners have woken up to higher mortgage bills, as a spate of rate hikes linked to last month’s...