Lloyd’s Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland announce the closure of more than 100 branches; this is part of a wider trend for both banks who will now have closed more than 1,000 in the last few years; reasons for the closings include more UK consumers using mobile banking and the branch closures help to save significant costs. Source.
The Royal Bank of Scotland's NatWest Brand has announced the launch of direct lending platform Esme; the platform will offer loans up to £150,000 ($187,257) for small and medium-sized businesses with approvals in one hour; NatWest developed the Esme platform internally through an innovation lab; the platform was developed to provide a more competitive loan offering and will also support initiatives for cost reduction. Source
The Royal Bank of Scotland is closing 158 branches in the UK in an effort to reduce costs; it has continued to struggle since the financial crisis reporting nine consecutive years of losses; the firm has been increasingly integrating automation to cut costs and says it will make a decision on its robo advisory service for mortgage lending by the third quarter; the robo advisory service offers customers advice and insight that helps them decide on a mortgage loan product, also giving them an option to connect with a human advisor at any time during the process. Source