SNP ‘react with dismay’ at RBS closure plans

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SNP MP for Dumfries and Galloway Richard Arkless and South of Scotland MSP Aileen McLeod have reacted with dismay to the announcement that the Royal Bank of Scotland is to close two further branches in the region, Kirkcudbright and Whitesands, Dumfries.

The move follows the closure of the Dalbeattie, Glenluce and Whithorn branches last September.

Richard Arkless said: “As far as I’m concerned, this is not good news, particularly since the closure of the Kirkcudbright branch will leave Castle Douglas as the only RBS branch left in the Stewartry. Online banking does not yet cover all customers’ requirements and a mobile service will never replace the convenience of a branch.

“While the closure of the Whitesands branch still leaves a high street service in Dumfries, I am concerned about the future of a large, prominent building right in the middle of the Whitesands. The last thing Dumfries needs is another prominent empty property. The marketing and disposal of that building will need to be handled properly and I’ll be pressing for RBS operations continue there until a buyer is found.”

Aileen McLeod commented: “I am very disappointed indeed with this news, not least since it follows on from the closure of the branch in Dalbeattie last year, meaning that the only remaining branch in the whole of the Stewartry will be in Castle Douglas. I also know that the mobile service has encountered problems in Dalbeattie and in Whithorn and is certainly not an ideal replacement for a branch. Based on last year’s experience I fear that nothing will change their minds on this issue but I will be writing to the bank to protest against this latest closure.”