ROYAL Bank of Scotland has announced plans to cut 150 jobs at sites including the Greenock Mortgage Centre.

Staff at the Cartsburn office - along with colleagues in Birmingham and Norwich - have been offered voluntary redundancy.

RBS is blaming the job losses on the increasing shift towards online banking and mortgage applications.

Officials say there is no quota of how many staff will depart any of the sites, including Greenock, and they are confident all 150 roles will go through voluntary redundancy based on initial feedback.

Around 1,000 staff work at the Cartsburn office and RBS bosses stressed that it 'remains an important part of our business'.

The job losses will be across the company's mortgage customer contact and operations divisions, of which there are 450 employees working in those departments in Greenock.

An RBS spokesperson said: "As we transform our personal banking business around the needs of our customers, we're continually looking at how we best serve customers in an increasingly digital world where many prefer to self serve. "As a result, we've taken the difficult decision to reduce the number of roles within mortgage customer contact and operations divisions. "We're expecting to meet this reduction through voluntary redundancies. "Colleagues affected by this announcement are being supported with resources to help them make the right choice for them."

The UK Government still owns a 62 per cent stake in the banking giant, which it saved from collapse in 2008.

Inverclyde MP Ronnie Cowan said: "I am extremely disappointed to hear that 150 people have the threat of redundancy hanging over them. "I shall be approaching the RBS management to see if there is anything constructive my office can do to help the situation."

The company says this is the first time that staff in Greenock have been offered voluntary redundancy.

RBS say there is no timeline for when the roles will go and it all depends on how many staff register for voluntary redundancy.

Despite the jobs cull, the company is still recruiting in Greenock.

An RBS spokesperson said: "Overall in Greenock, we employ approximately 1,000 colleagues who work in a variety of roles including learning and capability advisors, mortgage sales advisors, complaint handlers, customer service advisors, and support functions.

"Greenock remains an important part of our business and we are committed to retaining a strong workforce there.

"We're continuing to recruit into Greenock and currently have a number customer service representative roles open for applications.

"We're also a proud supporter of the Inverclyde Recruit project that aims to enhance the employment prospects of all fifth and sixth year students in Inverclyde, and have a number of students enrolled on this year's project."