Unite is pleased that at long last RBS has appointed an organisation to look at the position of the 10 branches given a stay of execution in their branch closures programme.
But the union is disappointed it has not been included in the list of stakeholders that Johnston Carmichael will engage with over the final decision on whether these branches will remain open. Unite gave evidence to both the Scottish Affairs Select Committee at Westminster and the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work committee at the Scottish Parliament.
“Both the Scottish Affairs Select committee and the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work committee thought Unite’s contribution, as elected representatives of the workers affected by the decision to close 52 branches was important enough to be asked to give evidence, yet on this vital decision the voice of Unite members including our Retired and Community members is being excluded,” said Unite Deputy Scottish secretary Mary Alexander.
“The auditors have stated that they will report back by September,” she added. “This seems like a very short time frame to conduct a full assessment of all 10 branches viability given that they intend to review alternative banking options for each branch, interview customers and local representatives as well as speaking directly with the staff affected. We need to remember that the staff affected could be losing their jobs depending on what they say and this is a huge pressure to place on individuals.”
“To save Johnston Carmichael some time we would urge them to look at the report today by the Financial Conduct Authority, the finance sector regulator, which acknowledges that consumers in rural areas in the UK are far less likely to use their mobile phones for banking than customers in an urban environment as well as a recent report by Which? that found Scotland has been the worst hit throughout the UK, by branch closures.”