Unite the union has urged MSPs to back a motion calling on RBS and other banks to think again about ‘slash and burn’ branch closures.
Last week, RBS announced plans to close a further 86 branches across the UK on top of the 51 announced earlier this year.
Unite the union says the planned closure of nine Scottish branches – all in Edinburgh – would affect 116 staff, and could put around 45 jobs at risk. These are in addition to 16 Scottish branch closures announced by RBS earlier in the year, hitting communities across the country.
Now Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley has put down a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on banks to significantly improve the way they consult with their customers over the closures, to properly engage with bank workers, and to consider alternative plans.
“Every MSP in Scotland should support this motion,” said Unite deputy Scottish secretary Mary Alexander. “Slash-and-burn branch closures could cut off the lifeblood of communities all across the country.
“Banks must realise that they have an obligation to their staff, and to the customers and communities who have supported them over the long decades. That’s especially the case for banks like RBS, where taxpayers are the majority owners or have a big stake.
“Having a strong, united voice from the Scottish Parliament could only help put pressure on the banks to see sense,” she added.
“If banks don’t stop turning their backs on customers and communities and slashing frontline staff, then we’ll be looking for the Scottish and UK Governments to start holding RBS and other state-supported banks to account for their flawed strategies. We also need to look urgently at how we can make sure that communities across Scotland have access to local banking.”