Drew Hendry has called on the Royal Bank of Scotland to reverse its decision on branch closures and has told Senior Management at RBS not to ‘ turn its back ‘ on rural Scotland.
The Bank has published a list of 259 RBS and NatWest branches to close across the UK with 62 in Scotland, with heavy losses in rural areas. RBS, which is 72%-owned by the taxpayer, said it would try to ensure compulsory redundancies were “kept to an absolute minimum”.
Mr Hendry said:
“With services in Aviemore, Grantown, Nairn, Inverness, and Beauly all up for the axe, I immediately called senior management at RBS to express the anger and disappointment felt across Highland communities. Proposals to remove services won’t only have a huge impact on tourist spend in our towns and villages, it will leave many families and businesses without adequate face to face banking facilities and, vitally, with even more cash point closures. RBS is effectively turning its back on these communities.
“When trouble hit the banks, they turned to the tax payers. It was down to the people to bail them out – now they are bailing on the people. It’s not on. The UK Government remains the largest shareholder with over 70% of RBS shares, it controls regulatory powers, and it has the influence to stop this reckless action. Despite this, all we have heard from the UK Government in response is that it doesn’t concern itself with ‘commercial decisions’’. Let’s be very clear, with all the leverage the UK government has, doing nothing would be an absolute dereliction of duty.
“Along with my SNP colleagues, I will be demanding that the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer steps in. I will also stand side by side with folk in our affected communities to do everything we can to protect our local services.”