RBS and NatWest downgrade 84,000 private bank accounts

Tim Wallace
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TENS of thousands of RBS and NatWest’s richest customers are being downgraded to normal accounts because they do not meet tough new criteria for the private bank, City A.M. has learned.

The bank has written to 120,000 customers to tell them about the changes. Under the new rules customers will need an individual income of £100,000, rather than a joint income of £150,000, to keep their private banking account.

Around 70 per cent – 84,000 – have not used the service to its full in recent years and will be downgraded to a standard in-branch service.

“These changes mean that you’ll need to make a decision,” the bank said in a message to clients, seen by City A.M. “If you would like to remain in Private Banking, and can meet one of the criteria above, we need you to let us know.”

44 of the customers have complained about the change.

Meanwhile RBS is closing 44 branches, including the Forest Gate, Putney Royal Hospital and Roman Road in Bethnal Green branches in London. The sites are closing because visits to the branches have dropped by as much as 38 per cent in recent years, and the bank wants to redeploy its resources elsewhere.

RBS’s IT boss Mike Errington also announced his plan to retire.

The 58-year-old has been under pressure after the bank’s IT systems froze out customers three times in an 18-month period. He will leave the bank when a replacement is found.

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