South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has challenged the Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell to break his silence and explain why he and the UK Government failed to intervene to block the closure of 52 Royal Bank of Scotland Branches across Scotland, including Lockerbie, Annan and Langholm.
Ten other branches on the original closure list of 62 have been given a reprieve but remain under threat after RBS revealed they would be reviewed again next year.
Six of the branches that are closing or facing review are within David Mundell’s UK Parliament Constituency of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale. As a result of the closures, many of his constituents will have to travel to England to access their nearest Royal Bank of Scotland.
Despite owning around three quarters of the shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland and having the power to block closures, the UK Government have so far refused to intervene in the crisis.
Colin Smyth has now written to David Mundell demanding an explanation for his failure to intervene.
Colin Smyth said, “The failure of the Secretary of State for Scotland and his Government to intervene in the Royal Bank of Scotland’s savage branch closure programme really is a dereliction of duty. The UK Government are the majority shareholder in the bank having invested billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money to bail out RBS at the height of the banking crisis. This brings with it extra responsibilities for the Government. They have the power and a moral obligation to put a stop to these closures but instead they turned their back on the customers now losing their local services and the staff losing their jobs and as usual when it comes to the inaction of the UK Government, David Mundell has gone into hiding. It’s time that he broke his silence and explained to his constituents and others why he has failed to act to save these banks when he has the power to do so.”
The following branches in the South of Scotland Scotland will remain open until the end of 2018, and then will be reviewed by RBS. Those in bold are within David Mundell’s Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale UK Parliament Constituency:
The following branches across the South of Scotland will be closing within the next few months: