Bank denies online targets were secret

Local MP Brendan O'Hara outside the Rothesay RBS last December.
Local MP Brendan O'Hara outside the Rothesay RBS last December.

Royal Bank of Scotland has denied it had secret targets to switch customers to online banking, while it’s CEO has been accused of dodging questions at Westminster.

In December, the majority taxpayer-owned bank announced the decision to close 62 of its branches in Scotland, including in Rothesay, which is due to close next month.

Local SNP MP Brendan O’Hara has called for the UK Government to urgently intervene after a leaked document showed a staff member is required to sign up to an average of 5.6 customers per week for the mobile banking app,

Mr O’Hara said: “This is yet another troubling revelation, which RBS chiefs must answer to. Just last week, RBS told the Westminster Scottish Affairs committee that digital banking targets didn’t exist – yet now a leaked document reveals that they do.

“Over Christmas and New Year I collected thousands of signatories on petitions for each of the three proposed closures in Argyll and Bute; RBS doesn’t seem to take these concerns seriously.”

An RBS spokesperson said: “When Ross McEwan (RBS CEO) was asked about whether staff have targets for the adoption of mobile and online banking, he did not deny this and openly acknowledged that we ask our colleagues to have those conversations with customers so that they are aware of all the different ways that they can bank with us, this includes telephony, face to face and digital banking. In 2016, we removed financial incentives for colleagues to hit sales targets - the first of the major banks to do so.”