South of Scotland MSP, Colin Smyth has slammed Royal Bank of Scotland over its decision to close six branches in the south of Scotland.
Cumnock, Mauchline, Troon, Prestwick, Girvan and Newton Stewart are all facing a High Street without their local Royal Bank of Scotland branch, after the firm announced last week it intends to close 30 branches across Scotland. 128 NatWest branches across the UK are also facing closure.
The move in the south of Scotland has prompted Colin Smyth to table a motion in the Scottish Parliament condemning the bank’s decision.
The closures now means a RBS customer living in Newton Stewart will have to travel to Stranraer or Ayr, just to visit their bank - a 2 hour round trip.
Customers in Prestwick will have to travel into Ayr.
Cumnock, Mauchline and Girvan residents face traveling to Kilmarnock just to go into their local branch.
RBS, which is partly owned by the UK Government following a buyout in 2007, claimed that changes in how people bank are the driving force behind the closures.
Colin Smyth MSP said:
“It is deeply disappointing that we are witnessing yet more bank closures and frankly it will only be a matter of time before having a branch in your High Street outside the large towns and cities will be a thing of the past.
Some of these customers have been with the bank their whole live yet now find themselves completely abandoned by a bank they loyally supported, through the good times and bad.
At a time where our High Streets are under a great deal of pressure, this is the last thing we need from one of the country’s largest businesses. We should be encouraging businesses to move into our town centres, but that becomes more and more difficult when so many are simply walking away. What is particularly galling is the fact that RBS is partly owned by the Government who are therefore supporting these closures by failing to intervene.
I will be writing to RBS’s chief executive to ask him to reconsider the move and have submitted a motion to parliament calling on MSP from across party divides to join together and call on RBS to rethink this decision.”
Colin’s full motion to parliament is:
Title: RBS Bank Closures in South Scotland
That the Parliament condemns the reported announcement by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) that it plans to close 30 branches across Scotland; understands that, in the South Scotland region, Newton Stewart, Cumnock, Mauchline, Prestwick, Troon and Girvan branches will be closed; notes the important role that it considers local bank branches play, particularly in rural communities; expresses concern that RBS customers in Newton Stewart will be forced to travel 24 miles to access their nearest RBS branch; further expresses sympathy to those employed by RBS at the affected branches whose jobs are now under threat, and calls on RBS to reconsider these closures.”