Save Our Banks

By 23/12/17

Communities across Scotland, particular in our rural areas, are rightly concerned about the impact the decision by RBS to close branches, including in some cases the last branch in the community, will have on local businesses, employees, the elderly and vulnerable and all those who need access to banking services.

I know that more and more of us do our banking on the internet or by phone but that simply isn’t an option for everyone. RBS and the banking industry need to think again.

Many older or vulnerable members of our communities rely on branches to conduct their banking, and while banks have a duty to support people to transfer to mobile or online banking, for many that simply won’t be something they feel safe or comfortable doing.

Equally mobile and online banking doesn’t solve the problems of businesses, many of whom in rural communities will still take cash and who without local branches will now have to take significant time out of their working day to travel to the remaining branches to deposit their takings or to speak to someone if they need face to face for business advice.

Since the decision by RBS was announced the Scottish Government has stood side by side with the communities and employees affected. We have called on the UK Government as the government responsible for banking, and as part owners of RBS, to step up to the plate. We have asked them to establish and enforce a guaranteed minimum level of service provision for essential banking services, recognising the importance of continued access to banking for towns and communities across Scotland.

It was deeply disappointing this week to hear the Prime Minister continue to brush off my Westminster colleagues requests for the government to step in with party political attacks when she should have been standing up for the public interest.

The Scottish Government will continue to do everything it can to support affected staff and to identify solutions that will preserve access to essential banking services for customers and communities throughout the country but ultimately it is only the UK government that can act to stop these branch closures and that’s why campaigns like the Press and Journal’s campaign to Save our Banks are essential to add to the pressure and to force RBS and the UK government to provide a better service to rural Scotland.

Source

https://www.snp.org/save_our_banks

Scottish Rural Action launch survey on rural RBS branch closures.

 

Featured photo is a Screengrab from https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-scotland-independence-rbs/rbs-lloyds-to-move-south-if-scots-vote-for-independence-idUKKBN0H60ER20140911

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Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“It is absolutely astonishing that online shoppers in Scotland are having to spend an estimated additional £36.3 million each year on parcel delivery surcharges compared to the rest of the UK simply because of where they live.

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RBS Branch Closures And Survey Link

Source: Scottish Rural Parliament

The announced closure of 62 RBS branches across Scotland in the last week has kicked off debate from village shops to Holyrood and was also raised at Prime Ministers Questions in Westminster.

We will be representing views at the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster on 17 January 2018 – so it’s really important we get a wide range of responses to our survey a printable version is also available, see below.  It should only take a couple of minutes to complete.

Survey Link

Emma Cooper, Chief Executive of Scottish Rural Action said

Since RBS was bailed out by the British tax payers in 2008, we own 71% of the business. RBS should be acting in the interest of our communities, not just for making profit for its bosses.

Scottish Rural Action is undertaking this research to find out what the impacts will be on our rural communities and their high streets.  Some suggest it may be a good thing as it will free up shop units for other types of businesses, whilst others argue it will drive away business.  We expect the survey to show complex results with a range of impacts.

Scottish Rural Action will take full range of views collected to an evidence session at Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster on 17 January 2018, so it is important we are able to fully represent rural Scotland.

We know anecdotally impacts of these planned branch closures will hit rural communities the hardest, and it will be the elderly and those who rely on public transport that will be disproportionately affected.  Island communities and villages in the Highlands and Borders may have to do round trips of several hours to do their cash banking.  We know that many rural communities do not have reliable high speed broadband or mobile signal to use the digital solutions on offer for a limited number of services.

https://www.scottishruralparliament.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/RBS-Holyrood-Debate-summary.pdf

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