LONDON — Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland says it will eliminate hundreds of jobs and close 259 branches as more customers shift their banking online.

The state-owned lender is the third bank in Britain to announce job cuts this week, following Lloyds and the Yorkshire Building Society.

CEO Ross McEwan has insisted that the bank bailed out during the height of the 2008 financial crisis was moving on from its troubled past. The government last week said it was planning to re-privatize the lender by restarting share sales by the end of the 2018-19 financial year.

Britain will take a hefty loss on the stake, with trading at around 271 pence a share, far below the 502 pence-a-share price paid during bailout.