Carrick’s SNP member at Westminster says RBS is letting down local communities after the state-owned company announced it is to close its Maybole branch.
RBS said this week it has taken the ‘difficult decision’ to close the Maybole branch, along with branches in Kirkcudbright and Dumfries in the south west after a fall in the number of transactions taking place within its branches.
RBS says it has reached an agreement with the local Post Office, for customers to check their balance, deposit and withdraw funds, and for business customers to obtain coinage.
RBS intends to retain its ATM in the local community and is introducing a Mobile Branch service to the community and will be engaging with customers and the local community to understand the best day and time for the mobile branch to visit.
The number of transactions taking place at Maybole branch has dropped by 22% since 2011.
An RBS spokesperson said: “We are committed to following the UK Government protocol on branch closures, and we have made the decision following careful consideration of a wide range of factors including branch usage and the alternative ways our customers can bank with us locally.
“Our customers are increasingly using alternative ways to bank with them such as online and mobile banking. As a result, branch transactions have declined by around 36% since 2010 whilst online and mobile transactions have grown by more than 300%. Only 9% of their total transactions are now undertaken in branches in comparison to 25% in 2010.
“We are writing to all of our customers who use the branch, as well as displaying posters in branch to let them know of the closure. Between now and the closure date, we will engage with all of our customers, local businesses and the wider local community to make sure they are aware of the alternative ways of accessing their banking with us in the local area, and to answer any questions they might have.
Local MP Corri Wilson has written to the Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive Ross McEwan to express her anger over the planned closure of their Maybole branch on 11 November 2015.
Ms Wilson said: “Yet again, the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland is letting down rural communities. Claiming that closures are driven by increased use in technology, RBS fails to understand the challenges that its customers in outlying areas face when attempting to access digital technology. Many of the people affected by this closure will struggle to use online banking due to inadequate broadband coverage.
“While people in the South East may well be doing their banking on smartphones while commuting from Reading to Paddington, as claimed by the outgoing RBS Chairman, customers in the villages around Maybole cannot get a phone signal. RBS needs to reflect the needs of the communities it serves, and stop shutting branches to make up for the £10 billion paid out for mis-selling Personal Protection Insurance and the currency rigging scandal.
“Although basic banking at a Post Office is welcome, it won’t compensate for the loss of a bank, and mobile branches are nothing more than a smokescreen to hide the real damage of closing branches. This is a serious loss of a valuable local facility that will penalise the poor, the elderly and the disabled. I am seeking assurances from RBS that support will be given to existing branch staff facing redundancy, and a firm commitment to protect the remaining branches across Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock.”