RBS ‘failing to notify’ rural communities of closures

An RBS branch.
An RBS branch.
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Royal Bank of Scotland has been accused of closing rural branches without giving proper warning to local communities.

Unite’s regional industrial officer, Lyn Turner, said that the union was only informed about the closure of the branch at Carnwath after it had already shut on 8 May.

Customers of the branches at Mallaig, Wick and Aberdeen Bridge of Don also complained that they had received no postal notification of closure dates.Mr Turner said the bank had produced a business case, with a list of proposed branch closure dates last November, but the union had only received a final updated list on Tuesday – a week after the first closure.

He added: “Bannockburn was supposed to close on 15 May but when I went there I was told it has now been extended to 25 June. Dunblane was due to shut on 17 May, now it’s been extended till 20 June.

“It is appalling, but nothing surprises me about how the bank operates these days. Their consultation with customers is pretty poor, it’s not a consultation, it’s an implementation.

“They are not consulting with the trade unions, they are not even consulting with their customers.”

The West Highland fishing port of Mallaig saw the closure of its branch on Thursday, but some customers said they had not received a letter to notify them of the closure date.

As word sped round the close-knit community, customers filled the bank with cards and flowers to thank the two staff, Anne Bailey and Victorian Coull, for their loyal years of service.

Robert MacMillan, chief executive of Mallaig Harbour Authority, who has been a customer of the branch for 55 years, said his nearest branch now was in Fort William, 40 miles away.

He said: “I never got any notification in the post from the bank about the closure day, I just knew it was closing from going in there. It shut at four o’clock on Thursday. It wasn’t a time for celebration but the staff were so well liked, the bank was awash with flowers and cards for the two bank staff.”

John MacMillan, who runs a visitor centre across the road from the Mallaig branch, said: “They didn’t take long in taking everything down, the window signs are down, everything, it’s all away now. It’s very, very, disappointing, we used it a lot.”

An RBS mobile banking unit will visit the affected areas twice a week.