Royal Bank of Scotland is facing fresh criticism over plans to axe more local services with cuts to mobile banking.
This will be cut by up to 50 per cent in parts of the north of Scotland and comes hot on the heels of controversial plans to shut dozens of branches across the country.
The mobile bank services have been used to fill the gaps left by the closure of branches and retain some of “face-to-face” banking for customers.
The latest cuts by the bank, which is still owned by taxpayers, was branded a “betrayal” by political leaders.
SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth, who has campaigned against branch closures in Fife, said: “This is appalling behaviour from RBS.
“Not only have they reduced the service to customers across the country even further – they’ve done so by quietly changing the timetable as opposed to being straight with people. It’s yet another betrayal of RBS customers in Fife and across the country.
“It’s time for RBS to be up front with customers and communities – this kind of behaviour erodes trust in the bank even further after their shameful rounds of closures over the last few years. They ought to remember who saved the bank from going under just a decade ago.”
Labour’s Ged Killen, a member of the Scottish Affairs Select committee, said: “RBS executives offered reassurances in good faith that customers would be supported through the closure of 62 branches in Scotland when they appeared before the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in January.
These words will now appear hollow to those communities which could be cut off as a result of the scaling back of the mobile bank van service.
RBS said it regularly reviews it mobile branch and that the timetable changes reflects the changing ways customers are using the bank, including more use of online services and less over-the-counter transactions.
Mobile bank vehicles will cut back on the time they spend in many areas as closures in the north means they will be more thin on the ground. The van will only stop for 20 minutes once a week in Kingussie, down from 45 minutes on Mondays and Fridays. Spean Bridge will only get a 15-minute window on Thursdays instead of 45-minute slots on Mondays and Thursdays. And in the far north, the van will no longer visit Helmsdale, Rogart or Latheronwheel, with the frequency of visits increasing from once every two weeks to once a week in Golspie, Brora, Bonar Bridge, Lairg and Dunbeath.