Anger over RBS closure

The Rothesay branch of the RBS.
The Rothesay branch of the RBS.

The Rothesay branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland is among 62 in Scotland that are under threat of closure.

The bank has said more customers are accessing services online or with mobile devices. Under its proposals the Victoria Street branch is scheduled to close on June 26, 2018.

Scotland's Brexit minister Mike Russell

Scotland's Brexit minister Mike Russell

Mike Russell (SNP), MSP For Argyll and Bute, has called for a re-think. He said:“These proposals are unacceptable. I strongly support my Ministerial colleague Paul Wheelhouse’s decision to ask the UK Government to intervene and set a minimum standard for banking provision , and to enforce it with a bank which owes its very existence to a bale out from taxpayers only a few years ago.

“I have also written to the bank’s chief executive expressing my opposition to the closures in Argyll and Bute.

“I believe these closures will work against all the efforts being made nationally and locally to reverse depopulation and consequently they must be halted. Rothesay has a large number of faithful Royal Bank customers who are being treated shabbily by the bank. I am particularly concerned about the impact on the farming sector given that the Royal Bank has been a key player in the local agricultural scene for a long time.”

Customers have also voiced their anger at the proposed closure.

Taking to the Buteman Facebook page after we broke the news last Friday, Tim Saul said: “This closure will cause major issues for private customers who do not use internet banking and for business customers. It is a personal disaster for the hard working staff who provide excellent customer service. How about a petition calling for reconsideration of this decision?”

And Philip Kirkham added: “The playing field becomes even more uneven for island businesses. We will have to make a ferry journey just to bank cheques or obtain change. Rothesay RBS is nearly always busy and the staff are excellent, why close it?”

An RBS spokesman said: “More and more of our customers do their banking online or on mobile. Since 2012 the number of customers using our branches in Scotland has fallen by 44 per cent. Only one per cent of our customers now use a branch regularly while the number of regular mobile users has increased by 39 per cent since 2015

“We expect these closures to result in around 158 redundancies and we are doing everything we can to support those affected. We will ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to a minimum.”