Publised date : 08 May 2018

Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has today rounded on the UK government, accusing them of “apathy” over the issue of RBS branch closures.

Mr Swinney’s comments came after the revelation that RBS had received “no representations” from the UK government, and that the government considered the decision to close branches as purely a “commercial matter”. 

The Tory government’s inaction was revealed by Ross McEwan, Chief Executive of RBS, during Tuesday’s meeting of the Scottish Affairs Committee. Mr McEwan faced questioning from MPs, along with Les Matheson, Chief Executive of Personal & Business Banking and Jane Howard, Managing Director of Personal Banking.

During Prime Minister’s Questions on 13th December 2017, the Prime Minister announced that the Secretary of State for Scotland had raised concerns over branch closures during a meeting with RBS chiefs.

Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

“The comments of Ross McEwan have laid bare the Tory government’s apathy towards the plight of rural Scottish communities. 

“Theresa May has previously stated that her government raised the issue of branch closures with RBS. Ross McEwan seems to have directly contradicted the Prime Minister, and as such she must clarify what actions – if any – the Tory government have taken to help the communities affected by these closures.

“Whilst the UK government continue to ignore the concerns of rural Scotland, I, along with my SNP colleagues, will continue to fight against these needless branch closures.”

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