Hundreds of workers are to lose their jobs with the scaling-back of an electronics plant and the closure of dozens of bank branches.
Jabil Circuit said yesterday that 260 jobs will go when it winds down operations at its circuit-making facility in Livingston, West Lothian, by the end of this year.
In a further blow, RBS announced it will close 30 branches in Scotland, leading to 170 job losses. The bank said that it hoped to redeploy about 100 people but the move will still lead to dozens of redundancies. The bulk of the closures will be in small towns and suburbs. RBS said that fewer and fewer customers were going in to branches.
Sites in Anstruther, Banchory, Bishopbriggs, Girvan, Kirkcaldy, Newton Mearns, Prestwick, Stonehaven and Troon are among those to be closed.
Andy Willox, the Scottish policy convener at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We know that bank branches are closing faster in Scotland — and we’re frustrated to see RBS show so little loyalty to our high streets. Branch closures put pressure on local economies and make it harder for local firms to access banking services.
“While more people might be doing online banking, that’s no good for cash-based businesses or for rural firms with poor broadband.”
Banks have been closing branches in huge numbers in recent years as more customers switch to digital.
A spokesman for RBS said: “As customers change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them. The role of the branch is fast moving to a centre for advice, away from basic transactions.
“While the branch will still be a core part of our offering to customers, inevitably some branches will have to close.
Jabil’s announcement was the latest setback for the West Lothian economy. This month Johnson & Johnson said that it would close the Ethicon plant in Livingston with the loss of 400 jobs.
Jabil said: “We have concluded there is unsustainable current and future demand to support the viability of the site.” About 100 support staff will continue to work at the site and Jabil said that its plant in Ayr was not affected.
A spokesman added: “This announcement is in no way a reflection of the hard work, dedication and loyalty of our Livingston-based employees. We are committed to supporting them throughout the consultation process and subsequent career search.”