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Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP has written a joint letter, alongside Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart, to Jane Howard, Managing Director of Personal Banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland, expressing disappointment at the company’s refusal to reconsider plans to shut five branches across the Perth & Kinross Council area, including two branches at Comrie and Kinross in Ms Cunningham’s constituency and the Perth South Street branch, which is used by many of her constituents.

The letter calls on the bank to provide the detail of the analysis they have carried out on branch usage for each of the individual branches and speaking today (Tuesday) Ms Cunningham said:

“The initial response we received from RBS was not encouraging, claiming that they had considered the decision carefully and would not be revisiting it.  

“Infuriatingly, however, the reply did not refer to any of the specific questions raised and merely listed a reiteration of the criteria they claimed to have applied with no indication as to how the specific branches 'scored' against those criteria. The few facts supplied were Scotland-wide statistics such as the claim that branch usage has fallen by 44% since 2012.

“We had raised a number of questions regarding the demographic information on which the decisions were based.  Were, for example, age band breakdowns, the number of self-employed customers, the number of SMEs considered in each area? 

“Many constituents have raised with me their concerns regarding the impact on both personal and business banking as this move will have a detrimental effect on the service infrastructure within the region. 

“In that regard, one further specific matter that I have raised with Ms Howard relates to the provision of ATM services.  

“During a recent appearance at the Scottish Select Committee in Westminster, Ms Howard informed the committee that no ATM would be removed where there was no other free-to-use ATM within 1 kilometre.

“Now, while there is indeed another free-to-use ATM in the village, it is inside a shop so there is not 24 hour access and it is already not replenished frequently enough to the match the demand on it.

“Although the removal of the RBS ATM would, strictly speaking, be within the parameters as outlined, it is clear that the reality of the situation is that they would be leaving the community in a situation where the nearest regularly-filled 24-hour free-to-use ATM would be around 11kilometres away in Crieff.

“We urge RBS to respond to the public outcry that has followed their decision, to really listen to their customers and to reconsider the previously announced closure decisions.”

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