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ROSEANNA URGES RBS: REJECT COMRIE CLOSURE RECOMMENDATION

Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP has expressed her disappointment following the publication of the Johnston Carmichael Review into the proposed closure of ten Royal Bank of Scotland branches in her constituency.  The Review has recommended that RBS proceed with the closure of all but two of the ten branches, including Comrie in Ms Cunningham’s constituency.

 

Ms Cunningham urged RBS to reject that recommendation, saying:

“I am really disappointed that this review has recommended that the closure of the Comrie Branch of RBS be pursued.  I am also very disappointed about the manner in which the process has been carried out and the information presented in this Review.

“It didn’t take long before it became clear that what we had originally been told was a reprieve for these ten branches was actually just going to be a temporary stay of execution for most of them.  Then decision by RBS, for example, to introduce the Mobile Banking Service to Comrie while the existing Branch was under review clearly signalled their intentions and undermined the whole process.

“It is extremely unsatisfactory that the authors of the Review had to note that it was not possible for them to review what income or costs were received or incurred by each individual branch.

“Of the two branches that the Review has recommended escape closure, Castlebay on Barra is obviously a special case and so I was keen to see what it was about Biggar branch that enabled it to avoid the axe. 

”Although Biggar is described as the busiest Branch that was reviewed, there are no figures given so there is no way of knowing how it compared to Comrie in that regard although the pattern of usage was very similar and Biggar is in fact 13.2 miles from the next nearest RBS branch whereas the RBS in Perth is 23.2 miles from Comrie – ten miles further.

”Closure of the last bank in Comrie would be a big blow to those bank customers who are least able to access other forms of banking or travel out of the village to other banks.  Small local businesses will also be severely inconvenienced by closure – the Mobile Bank doesn’t turn up at the close of business to accept the day’s takings and the Post Office really isn’t set up for that either.

“Even the Review report concludes that they ‘anticipate some customers will choose to bank elsewhere’ rather than remain with RBS and a twenty-three mile journey to the nearest branch.

“RBS are, in part, a publicly-owned bank and public service should be part of their ethos.

“Closure of the Comrie Branch would be absolutely the wrong decision and I urge RBS to reject the recommendation of the Review and retain Comrie within the branch network.”

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design