The CEO of RBS International has told Business News the company is committed to the Isle of Man.
Andrew McLaughlin spoke out as the company announced it was planning to pull staff out of Royal Bank House in Victoria Street,Douglas.
The NatWest branch in Victoria Street will also be closing as part of the changes during 2017.
Staff will switch to working in other RBS-owned premises in Douglas and the company is planning a £4m refurbishment programme for them.
The RBS owns the Isle of Man Bank and NatWest.
Mr McLaughlin told Business News that the changes would make make the banking experience better for customers.
He also described Royal Bank House as an ‘austere modern office block.’
The bank will be ‘completely overhauling’ its Athol Street branch and the floor above to create a ‘modern banking centre.’
And the Regent Street branch will also be refurbished to ‘improve banking facilities’ for customers.
A new team of 20 is also being taken on to deal with specialist risk services based in the company’s Howard Pearson House building atSummerhill.
In a statement Mr McLaughlin said: ‘We are starting our branch modernisation programme in the Isle of Man and intend to build a world class modern banking centre in the heart of Douglas.
‘Far too often companies invest in building head offices rather than investing in the customer.
‘The days of banking in remote head offices are over for RBS International.
‘Our customers and colleagues are incredibly loyal and passionate about their bank and this investment is designed to make it easier for everyone to go about their business.’
RBS International confirmed it will ‘consolidate all of their activities in Douglas across their banking centres in Regent Street, Athol Street and Howard Pearson House, exiting the premises they currently lease at Royal Bank House and their NatWest branch in Victoria Street during 2017.
Mr McLaughlin stressed the project was not at all about reducing the headcount of the company.
He said the move will lead to ‘much better customer service’ as the company makes full and better use of space atits premises in Athol Street and Regent Street.
And he stressed the company was committed tohelping to build the economyof the Isle of Man.
However there was concern in some quarters that RBS International are planning to leave Victoria Street
DanDavies said on Twitter: ‘Sad this. I worked there and it was a brilliant workplace.’
Mr Davies, who is director of change and reform in the Isle of Man Government, told Business News he worked there for a number of years until 2006 band described it as a ‘flagship building’ and one of the best corporate premises in the island with superb views from the roof garden.
Another Twitter user said: ‘This is very sad.’