Banks "turning their backs" on Scots communities

Scotland's banks have been accused of "turning their back" on local communities over swingeing closures to branches in recent years, MSPs have been  told.
RBS has come under fire over its latest spate of closuresRBS has come under fire over its latest spate of closures
RBS has come under fire over its latest spate of closures

Vulnerable and disabled Scots are being left behind by the latest spate of shutdowns as they struggle to switch to online alternatives, Holyrood's economy committee heard.

Union chiefs branded the impact assessment carried out by banks on locals as "one-sided" and a "disgrace." The committee was taking evidence from community groups, trade unions chiefs and citizens advice bodies. And despite official claims that banks are not being used, MSPs heard that customers are "queuing out the door" in many banks earmarked for closure and staff struggle to get a break.

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RBS, which is majority-owned by the taxpayer, has come under fire over its most recent plans to close up to 62 branches across Scotland. It is the latest wave of ongoing closures across Scotland in recent years.

Small businesses in areas hit by closures, such as fishmongers', have also seen profits slump by up to 15%.

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"There are people that can't remember the long list of numbers that they have to have in order to access a bank account online or by telephone. So the issues there are in our communities."

He said there are now no banks on the A70 from Juniper Green into Edinburgh, a key artery into the capital which serves 20,000 people

Lyn Turner, Regional Officer, Unite Scotland added: "This is a closure programme that did not have to happen -it's being driven profit. RBS have turned their back on local communities."