Publised date : 11 Apr 2018

John Swinney MSP and Pete Wishart MP today blasted the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for scheduled cuts to their mobile banking service.

The timetable changes, announced via a solitary sentence on the “Perth” section of the RBS mobile branch webpage, will see existing services in Coupar Angus and Meigle cancelled from 14th May.

Under the new RBS schedule, there will now be a twice-weekly stop at Pitlochry. 

Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

“I am disheartened both with the substance of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s changes, and the way in which they have introduced them.

“Whilst I note the implementation of services to Pitlochry, it really is robbing Peter to pay Paul if it comes at the expense of Coupar Angus and Meigle. It’s also worth noting that the mobile banking service will be scant consolation to residents of Pitlochry, who would much prefer their existing branch to remain open.

“Almost as troubling is the underhanded way that RBS have tried to introduce these changes – with no official announcement and no public consultation. Those in charge of RBS would do well to remember the debt they owe to the people of this country, and to treat their customers in this manner is frankly pathetic.”

“The Tory government, as the majority shareholder of RBS, should finally stand up for the people of Scotland and put a stop to these continued service cuts.”

Adding to this, Mr Wishart said:

“I am disappointed to see cuts to the mobile banking service in East Perthshire. 

“Coupar Angus and Meigle will miss out on their current weekly visit if these proposals go ahead. I understand the bank feel the need to include more visits in Highland Perthshire but many people in East Perthshire will feel cheated that there is to be no provision at all for them. 

“As part on my on-going talks with RBS, I will be raising these issues with them to see if they are willing to reconsider plans to stop providing the mobile service in Coupar Angus and Meigle.” 

Local councillor Fiona Sarwar (SNP), whose ward includes Coupar Angus and Meigle, stated:

“I am disappointed to hear that RBS will be cancelling its mobile banking service to Coupar Angus and Meigle.

“Such steps only further isolate rural communities and it is often the most vulnerable who are most deeply affected. I would urge RBS to reconsider their position. “

The changes to the RBS mobile branch service comes against a backdrop of increased pressure on the bank from both politicians and customers in Scotland. Last December, RBS announced the closure of 62 branches – many in rural areas. After fierce criticism, RBS announced in February that 10 branches would remain open. 

Despite this concession, branches with Perthshire North, including Aberfeldy and Pitlochry, are still scheduled for closure. 

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