Galloway MP Russell Brown has met with representatives of the Royal Bank of Scotland to discuss concerns over the company’s proposals to close five banks in Dumfries and Galloway in September.
During the meeting Russell presented a petition organised by Dalbeattie-based Undertaker Gordon Lockhart protesting against the closure of the Dalbeattie branch of RBS. In addition to presenting the petition, Russell also discussed with both RBS representatives and representatives of the Post Office, the bank’s claim that they have reached an agreement with the local Post Office which will enable RBS customers to withdraw cash, check balances and pay bills as well as the bank’s proposals to use a “new Mobile Van Branch” which they claim will cover communities affected by any closures, and other communities that currently don’t have a branch.
Commenting on the meeting Russell Brown: “It was clear from the meeting that it will be a very tall order convincing RBS to change its mind over these closures, as they simply point to the fall in the number of customers using each branch they plan to close. The company are clearly of the view that they can meet the demands of their customers either online, through the use of their mobile bank van or by customers using the local Post Office. There is no doubt people are voting with their feet and carrying out more and more bank transactions online, but in an area where broadband is still patchy in places that is not the solution for everyone.
“However, the company did give a commitment that they would be increasing their number of mobile van banks and these vans will not only cover the communities that are to lose their local branch , but also some of the other communities across the region who haven’t had a bank in the area. I will be discussing the possible routes and times with them in detail. They have also indicated that where there are ATMs outside branches these will be retained. I will continue to oppose these closures but also fight to ensure that if they do go ahead, we have the best possible alternative service for loyal customers”.