RBS branch to close in Ballantrae

The RBS branch in Ballantrae which is set to close in September.
The RBS branch in Ballantrae which is set to close in September.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is to close its branch in the main street of Ballantrae on 12 September as part of a number of closures.

The banking giant is also set to close branches in Newmilns, New Cumnock, Catrine and Sanqhar at that time as they look to bring more mobile services to these communities.

In announcing the news RBS said that the number of customers using these branches on average has dropped by one fifth over the past few years as more customers use alternative ways of banking such as online, telephone and even popping into the Post Office.

At the Ballantrae branch, RBS figures show that customers using it have dropped by a fifth over the past few years.

Only 16 customers use the branch regularly each week during its ten opening hours which are on a Monday from 9.15-12.45, Wednesday 9.45-12.45 and Friday 9.15-12.45.

RBS will be bringing a new mobile branch to the village to continue to provide a service to the community.

Customers will still be able to do all the same transactions they could do in the branch, but the van will also be equipped with satellite technology which will allow staff on board to connect directly to customers accounts.

It will also have an on-board iPad which will allow customers to register for online banking, with staff on hand to provide demonstrations of things such as keeping track of statements, transferring money to and from accounts and paying bills, and to help customers where required.

RBS is working with South Ayrshire Council on the route, and will publish the timetable before the branch closes. The route will cover all the branches that are closing in the area.

It also has an arrangement with the local post office to ensure that customers can withdraw cash, pay bills free of charge and check balances. And in the coming months, RBS customers will be able to deposit cash and cheques in any post office branch across the UK.

Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley MSP Adam Ingram said: “This is very disappointing news from RBS and I am certain their customers in Ballantrae will be feeling the same way.

“I understand that we are living in very different times in terms of how technologically driven our lives have become and there has been a marked increase in the number of people banking online.

“However, we must not overlook those who still prefer to access face to face services and would encourage RBS to ensure existing customers of these branches will be afforded at least the same level of service if not better from the mobile van branch and the Post Office.”

Sandra Osborne MP said: “This is another example of the withdrawal of local facilities in rural areas. Whilst consultation will take place on the route the van should take it appears the decision to close the branches has already been taken.I have raised my concerns with RBS and asked what will happen to the premises, as we do not need more empty buildings, the extent of the service by the mobile branch and whether job losses will occur.”