Isles MP comments on independent study on islands banks

There are worries over the future of the economy in the Islands if bank branches in Castlebay in Barra and Lochboisdale close or have their opening hours cut.
There are worries over the future of the economy in the Islands if bank branches in Castlebay in Barra and Lochboisdale close or have their opening hours cut.

Western Isles MP Angus B MacNeil is pleased that business advisers, Johnston Carmichael are to carry out an independent study on the Lochboisdale and Castlebay RBS bank branches.

Commenting Mr MacNeil said: “I look forward to Johnston Carmichael coming to the islands and having their review complete in September.

“RBS are to be praised for taking this step. Only a few months ago they were telling us that the closure of the Castlebay branch was an irrevocable decision and wouldn’t be revisited.

“I raised a number practical problems with RBS following their initial closure plans and welcome that they have now appointed business advisers Johnston Carmichael to carry out an independent review.

“There are a number of factors I hope Johnston Carmichael will take into consideration and I hope that they will spend time in both Castlebay and Lochboisdale.

“Despite the current spell of good weather, it is only a few short weeks since the mobile bank was only able to travel only one day out of three, which means we would have great difficulty in the winter.

“RBS seem to be coming round to the point of view that their initial decision was flawed, something I feel is shared by the Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, John Glen MP who is coming to visit the islands at the end of August.”