The announced closure of 62 RBS branches across Scotland has kicked off debate from village shops to Holyrood and was also raised at Prime Ministers Questions in Westminster.
Scottish Rural Action will be representing views at the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster on 17 January 2018. We have been collecting views from those affected in our survey which is now closed. You can still get in touch if you would like to have your views represented.
Commenting on the announcement, Emma Cooper, Chief Executive of Scottish Rural Action said
Since RBS was bailed out by British tax payers in 2008, we own 71% of the business. RBS should be acting in the interest of our communities, not just for making profit for its bosses.
Scottish Rural Action is undertaking this research to find out what the impacts will be on our rural communities and their high streets. Some suggest it may be a good thing as it will free up shop units for other types of businesses, whilst others argue it will drive away business. We expect the survey to show complex results with a range of impacts.
Scottish Rural Action will take full range of views collected to an evidence session at Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster on 17 January 2018, so it is important we are able to fully represent rural Scotland.
We know anecdotally impacts of these planned branch closures will hit rural communities the hardest, and it will be the elderly and those who rely on public transport that will be disproportionately affected. Island communities and villages in the Highlands and Borders may have to do round trips of several hours to do their cash banking. We know that many rural communities do not have reliable high speed broadband or mobile signal to use the digital solutions on offer for a limited number of services.
We will be sharing the results of our survey on this page soon.