ROYAL Bank of Scotland branches are to disappear from the high street in England and Wales next summer, it has emerged.

The branches will become outlets for the resurrected bank Williams and Glynn, which is being recreated by RBS to shave off some of its business.

EU competition rules governing state aid such as the bailout from the UK Government during the height of the financial crisis mean that the bank is too large and must be broken up.

Williams & Glynn is to be sold by RBS next year, meaning customers south of the border will find themselves customers of a new bank from that point on.

Chief executive Ross McEwan confirmed the move during a conference call with the media yesterday, while discussing the performance of Natwest, which RBS also owns.

He said: “You are already starting to see Natwest, particularly in England and Wales, taking prominence, because Williams & Glyn will take out the RBS brand on the high street today.

"So all the RBS branches will become Williams & Glyn as part of the IPO (Initial Public Offering). So you are starting to see Natwest particularly in England and Wales emerge as a very strong brand.”

Williams & Glynn was previously a high street bank which was taken over by RBS in 1980. Its history stretches back for 250 years, meaning this is more of a rebirth than the creation of a new business.

In total, more than 314 RBS and NatWest branches will be transferred into the 'new' bank. This includes all 308 RBS branches in England and Wales, and all six NatWest branches in Scotland.

The RBS Group branch sale will go through sometime next year, with some customers being switched to Williams & Glyn at the same time.

The bank has already contacted many of its customers, informing them of the change. An email sent to people with accounts in RBS said: "RBS England & Wales customers will become part of Williams & Glyn when it launches.

"We'll be in touch with our customers over the coming months to let them know, in plenty of time, if there's anything they need to do before their accounts become Williams & Glyn accounts in 2016. In the meantime it's business as usual and we'll keep looking after our customers as normal."

It was revealed in April that RBS executive Jim Brown, who ran the Ulster Bank bank division of the 79 per cent taxpayer-owned bank, will be in charge of Williams & Glyn.

The re-emergence of Williams & Glynn from within RBS is a sign that the shockwaves of the global financial crash of 2008 continue to be felt, and echoes a similar rebranding which saw branches of TSB reopen on the UK's high streets after an absence of 18 years.

In 2013, more than 600 branches of Lloyds TSB became TSB banks as part of a process ordered by the European Commission to provide greater competition.