The results of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s ‘independent review’ into ten Scottish Branch closures has just been published, with recommendations that 8 out of the ten ‘last-bank-in-town’ branches will indeed close.
In a review heavily cited as independent and objective, authors of the report, Johnston Carmichael have qualified their report as “a thorough appraisal of alternative banking services available to each community in order to properly understand the likely impact to customers should a branch close.”
Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara responded:
“This report smacks of post-decision justification. Zero account has been taken into the impact on Inveraray when the last bank in town closes. To say I’m furious is an understatement”
“I have spoken to scores of folk around Inveraray who all depend on the RBS branch. I have delivered petitions to Parliament opposing these closures reaching literally thousands of signatures. I am astonished that Johnston Carmichael say they understand the impact of the closure of these branches. I didn’t speak to a single person who was happy about this”.
“RBS have failed to consider their social responsibilities to rural and urban communities and to the long-lasting damage these closures will cause across Scotland and particularly in Argyll and Bute.
“Only last week, RBS sent a leaflet to stakeholders titled “Supporting your constituency”. In that glossy little booklet, RBS refer to their 29,400 customers in Argyll and Bute. The electorate in Argyll and Bute stands at 67,230. So by RBS own admission, almost HALF of the electorate in the whole of Argyll and Bute banks with RBS. Closing 3 of the 8 branches throughout the constituency sends a seriously negative message to those of us who bank with them”.
“RBS isn’t just another bank, almost three-quarters of it is owned by the tax-payer; folk like you and me who bailed them out at the last financial crash.”
“RBS and the Tory Westminster Government have ignored rural communities and the Tories have failed to intervene when they knew very well it was within their power to do so”.