JOBS at the Royal Bank of Scotland are under threat after the bank announced swingeing branch closures.

RBS is to close its Accrington, Blackburn, Burnley and Chorley centres as well as 158 other branches in England and Wales, resulting in 792 job losses.

The Accrington branch, based in Blackburn Road will shut on Monday August 20, Blackburn's King William Street site will close on Tuesday, November 13 and the St James' Lane in Burnley bank will cease on Thursday, November 22.

Chorley's branch in Market Street will close on Tuesday, November 20.

The bank will first close 109 branches which are within 0.6miles of a Natwest branch, which is also part of the RBS Group, in July or August.

A further 53 branches will close in November 2018, all of which are between 0.6 and 2.5 miles of another Royal Bank of Scotland or NatWest branch.

RBS customers will be able to use Natwest branches for their everyday banking.

A spokesman said: "Following a review of the branch network in England and Wales a decision has been taken to close 162 Royal Bank of Scotland branches.

"As a result of this process, around 792 roles will be made redundant, and we will seek to support our colleagues with the option to leave on a voluntary basis."

Last year, RBS avoided the compulsory sale of Williams & Glyn, which had been ordered by regulators as part of the bank's obligations under state aid rules following its £45 billion Government bailout at the height of the financial crisis.

Instead, RBS will put up money to be shared among so-called "challenger banks" to help them better compete with bigger players.

An RBS spokesman said: "We are no longer launching Williams & Glyn as a challenger bank, and we now have two branch networks operating in close proximity to each other; NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland, in England and Wales.

"As a result we have had to review our overall branch footprint in England and Wales and we've made the difficult decision to close a number of Royal Bank of Scotland branches. Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland in England and Wales will be able to use NatWest branches instead for their everyday banking needs.

"We now provide our customers with more ways to bank with us than ever before - customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options to suit their needs."

RBS also pointed out that since 2014, branch transactions across its English and Welsh operations are down 30 per cent, while there has been a 53 per cent increase in the number of customers using mobile banking, and mobile transactions have increased by 74 per cent.

Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: "The Williams and Glyn saga rolls on as Royal Bank of Scotland continues with its shambolically poor management of this business.

"How does a taxpayer-funded institution spend £1.8 billion on a failed IT project and in the next breath demolish the much needed local bank branches?

"The reality is that as a result of these planned closures the overwhelming majority of customers will find themselves without access to full banking facilities and in the most extreme examples some will find themselves having to make a round trip of circa 130 miles."