Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has described the actions of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as the “last act of betrayal” to the Melrose community and RBS customers and staff as it announced that it will close its Melrose branch.
The comments come as RBS confirmed in an e-mail to Colin Smyth that after taking into account the recommendations of the Johnston Carmichael Review they were proceeding with their planned closure of their Melrose branch.
Melrose was included in the review carried out by RBS commissioned review carried out Johnston Carmichael as it was the last bank in town and nearly 9 miles away from the closest bank branch. The closure comes despite RBS previously claiming they would not close the last bank branch in a town.
Melrose will join the long list of already recently closed RBS branches in the Scottish Borders – Duns, Eyemouth, Hawick, Jedburgh and Selkirk.
Colin Smyth MSP said, “This is the last act of betrayal from RBS as they will leave much of the Scottish Borders with no RBS branch. RBS bosses have shown absolutely no care and consideration to the local communities it serves and many people, here locally, will now rightly see this so-called independent review as nothing other than sham as only one Bank Branch in the South of Scotland has been saved.
The closure of the Melrose RBS branch will have a negative impact on the local community and local businesses who rely on the services and advice from a local bank. I am appalled that the U.K. Government, who are the owners of RBS, failed to take any action to stop these closures and the local Tory MP has serious questions to answer over the utter failure of his Government to stand up for communities such as Melrose. The savings made by closing these branches will save RBS pennies compared to the huge profits that they have been posting. When RBS collapsed it was hard press taxpayers who saved them with a huge bail out and the way they repay the public is to walk away from communities across our region”.