Monday, 22 January 2018 07:07

RBS CHIEF ADMITS MASS BANK CLOSURES WILL BE “PAINFUL” FOR CUSTOMERS

SNP URGE UK GOVERNMENT TO INTERVENE TO SAVE BRANCHES ACROSS SCOTLAND The SNP has called on RBS to halt its plans for mass branch closures across Scotland, after CEO Ross McEwan admitted, in a leaked email to staff, that closing local branches was a “difficult choice” that would be “painful” for customers, and hundreds of local staff who stand to lost their jobs.

The email, leaked by an RBS insider, also reveals the predominantly state-owned company have found the backlash from communities in the media “very uncomfortable reading”. Under current RBS plans, 62 branches across Scotland will close and 13 Scottish towns will lose their only bank. SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford has been leading the campaign to save the Scottish branches from closure, and has called on the UK government to intervene as the majority shareholder. The SNP has criticised the misleading figures being used by RBS to defend the closures. RBS have refused requests to publish the total number of transactions for each branch, instead only publishing the number of customers who visit their local branch every single week of the year. For instance, RBS have claimed the branch in Kyle has only 51 “regular” customers, yet it has 25,000 transactions. Commenting Ian Blackford MP, said:
“RBS are right to admit that axing 62 branches across Scotland will be painful to customers, including many who will lose their only local bank. It will also be painful to the hundreds of RBS branch staff across local communities who stand to lose their jobs.

“This programme of mass branch closures is not just a ‘difficult’ and ‘painful’ choice – it is the wrong choice, based on misleading figures and a flawed case. If it goes ahead it will have huge consequences for local people and businesses, so it is no surprise that RBS have found the scrutiny and backlash from communities uncomfortable.

“The SNP will continue to campaign to keep these banks open, and I will continue to pressure the UK government to do the right thing, and take action as the majority shareholder.  “When George Osborne was chancellor, he intervened to remove Stephen Hester as CEO. If the Government can play a role in the removal of a CEO it can play a role in making sure our rural communities do not lose banking services. “We collectively saved RBS in the bail out in 2008, we did not do this for RBS to turn its back on our communities. RBS has a duty to its customers, they must not repay our communities by withdrawing from them, and the Tories cannot just turn their back on rural Scotland.” Bank Boss admits hundreds will be hit by painful closures: https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/scotland/1397004/bank-boss-admits-hundreds-will-be-hit-by-painful-closures/

RBS Boss tells staff to ignore negative media coverage and focus on branch closures (Courier, 22 January): https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/politics/scottish-politics/584224/rbs-boss-tells-staff-ignore-negative-coverage-focus-branch-closures/

RBS Chief Ross McEwan says bank closure plan painful for customers (Herald, 22 January): http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15887175.RBS_says_bank_closure_plan__quot_painful_quot__for_customers_but_indicates_no_U_turn/

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