Commenting on media reports that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has returned to profit for the first time in a decade as it continues its recovery, Western Isles MP Angus B MacNeil said: “It is good to see the RBS returning to profit.
“Ross McEwan, Chief Executive of RBS is quoted as saying that this is “a really symbolic moment.”
“What would be symbolic would be for Mr McEwan to accept my invitation to come to Castlebay and Lochboisdale and meet the public to explain why he is presiding over the closure of the Castlebay branch and reducing the hours of the Lochboisdale branch.
“RBS continue to use the line that ‘they provide customers with more ways to bank than ever before – customers can choose from a range of digital, face-to-face and local options. The way people bank with us has changed radically over the last few years: since 2014, the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40%’.
“If they follow this logic will they close all branches?”
Mr MacNeil has invited John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury to the Isle of Barra and the Isle of South Uist to gain a better understanding about the implications of the RBS decision to close the branch in Castlebay and reduce the hours of the branch in Lochboisdale.
“With eye-watering profits and bonuses being paid to RBS Senior Executives there is no excuse for branch closures.
“RBS, still majority-owned by the taxpayer, has recently been dragged through the coals by the disconcertingly hesitant Financial Conduct Authority (who initially tried to bury the report) for its awful customer relations.
“It is time for RBS to make amends and halt these branch closures.”