RBS have agreed to review the closure of ten bank branches in Scotland: Biggar, Beauly, Castlebay on Barra, Comrie, Douglas in South Lanarkshire, Gretna, Inveraray, Melrose, Kyle of Lochalsh and Tongue.
As pressure from rural communities and their representatives has increased on RBS, they have agreed to review the closure of 10 branches and are offering an enhanced package of support for affected communities. The branches under review will stay open for the next 11 months, before a review of income and transactions takes place.
Emma Cooper, Chief Executive of Scottish Rural Action, said “This is small step in the right direction from RBS, who have shown little care and compassion towards loyal customers in rural areas over this matter to date. They still have a long way to go to restore themselves as trustworthy and we will be continuing to apply pressure to see further concessions from RBS.
“RBS should have consulted with communities before the decisions were made, and we could have avoided some of the upset and anger caused by the bank. We will still be pressuring them to reconsider their decisions over the 52 branches still scheduled for imminent closure, and we have concerns over the format and transparency of the review that will now take place.
“Nonetheless we are proud of those communities who have made their strong feelings on this matter clear through their responses to us, petitioning, protests and other actions. Our rural communities cannot and should not be ignored.”
The branches closures which will now be reviewed are mostly where there is no other branch within 9 miles.
The additional support to be offered includes improving ATM access for affected communities, giving empty branches to community groups free of charge, reviewing opening hours of branches remaining open and potentially even opening more branches – something that will seem an odd move to some and on which we will be seeking further clarity.