Unite today (September 28) has criticised the announcement by Johnston Carmichael and RBS that only two branches survive the stay of execution in Scotland.
The review, which has been under way since June, assessed the ten rural branches given a reprieve due to public and political pressure, led by Unite who represent the workforce. The review will now mean that RBS will close sixty branches across Scotland. Unite believes Johnston Carmichael have failed to properly consider the report 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.
In addition, a recent report by Which? has found Scotland has been the worst hit throughout the UK by branch closures. Alternatives such as mobile banking are problematic for inconsistency of service and inaccessibility for more vulnerable customers. Businesses have also made it clear that they need access to local banking facilities in a timely manner.
“This is obviously good news for RBS customers and communities in Castle Bay and Biggar. However, the Johnston Carmichael review was entirely predictable and nothing but a rubber-stamp of RBS management decisions,” said Unite regional officer Lyn Turner. “Sixty communities out of an original sixty-two earmarked for closure will now be marginalised by this so-called review. Unite will now request to meet RBS urgently to discuss the impact from today’s announcement on our members.”
Unite will continue to press for a meeting with the Scottish Government Minister for Communities on the impact this announcement will have.
Branches announced to close on or around January 11, 2019 are Comrie, Beauly, Douglas, Gretna, Inverary, Kyle, Melrose and Tongue.