RBS slammed as business leaders demand answers

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Colin Cameron

Inveraray hotelier Donald Clark has accused the Royal Bank of Scotland of ‘not playing fair’ over its plan to close rural branches.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of Mid Argyll Chamber of Commerce, Mr Clark – newly elected to the chair of the business group – said the proposed closure of Inveraray branch was far from justified.

He claimed that around £7 million is banked annually from businesses alone, and that the closure decision is ‘political and accountant-driven’.

After announcing just before Christmas that it was to close a third of branches, a storm of protest forced RBS to think again. A temporary reprieve for 10 branches, including Inveraray, was revealed last month.

But in its official statement on the move, RBS said: ‘At the end of the year an independent review will be carried out into the use of these branches and whether they should be kept open or not.

‘Should any of these branches see sustainable transactional increases and viable new income over this period, then the bank will reconsider the closure of the relevant branch as part of a full independent review.’

‘We need to pull folk into Mid Argyll, but to lessen facilities like this means that we are fighting a lost cause.

‘People must use the Inveraray branch as much as possible and we need a campaign to support that,’ Mr Clark concluded.

RBS managing director for personal banking, Jane Howard, said: ‘We provide our customers with more ways to bank than ever before – they can choose from a range of digital, to face-to-face options, including; mobile and online banking, telephone banking, video banking, community bankers, our mobile banks on wheels, and post offices.’

PIC:

Pictured at the chamber of commerce agm at MacLeod Construction in Lochgilphead are (left to right): Donald Melville, Donald Clark (chair), Jane MacLeod (secretary), Alison Hay (outgoing chair) and David Smart (new vice chair). 06_a11ChamberofCommerce01