Mumbai: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has said it 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.
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, it said.
Its branches at Agra, Jodhpur, Jalandhar, Kolhapur, Mangalore, Shastri Park (New Delhi) and Udaipur will be the first ones to be closed.
Its 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," Managing Director and country head for international banking, Brijesh Mehra, said.
About 1,000 jobs were to be axed as a result of the consolidation, according to earlier reports.
The country 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, Mehra added.
The bank has said there is no impact on its corporate and institutional business including markets and international banking or the private banking businesses in the country as part of the consolidation.
RBS had in November announced a plan to consolidate its retail presence in the country after its deal with HSBC, announced in July 2010, failed to get regulatory approval.
"RBS will continue to wind down the Retail & Commercial business in India in an orderly way and is exploring options for this," it had said then.
Private sector lender Yes Bank had earlier this year evinced interest in acquiring the retail operations.