Critics argue that the decision by the RBS, which continues its rehabilitation from its state-backed bailout in 2008, could hurt older people and small businesses for whom visiting a bank branch remains a way of life.
"This announcement will forever change the face of banking in this country resulting in over a thousand staff losing their jobs and hundreds of High Streets without any banking facilities,” Rob MacGregor from the Unite union, which represents bank workers, told the BBC.
He described the planned cuts as “savage.”
“Over 5 million customers now use our mobile banking app and one in five only bank with us digitally,” an RBS spokesperson said.
The government plans to sell £15 billion pounds ($20.2 billion) of its shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland by 2023.