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RBS/NatWest to offer free web training in branches


The Royal Bank of Scotland and subsidiary NatWestwill be offering free coaching and access to the Internet through their branches in the coming months.

The bank's click.start centres will provide free facilities to anyone who wants to use the Internet, providing access to a number of web sites with an emphasis on learning about the Internet, small business and local information. The centres will also be available in the evenings for special interest seminars.

The bank says that while around 14 million people used the internet last year, the vast majority of those who logged on were male, in full-time employment with average earnings of over £20,000. It aims to redress this by offering the facility to anyone who visits a branch.

The first click.start centre can be found at NatWest in Piccadilly, London. Two further click.start centres in the East Midlands and in Scotland will be unveiled within the next month. User reaction will be monitored and, if popular, the click.start centres - consisting of four internet PCs and a large electronic screen for demonstrations - will tour the banks' branch networks.

NatWest has already gained a reputation for being 'ahead of the game' with technology - in April, it was the first major UK bank to launch a WAP banking service on Orange mobile phones. It's unclear whether this new initiative is a general ploy to get people to linger in branches for longer!


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