Banks must re­pay com­mu­ni­ties

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Banks are“fail­ing in their com­mu­nity pur­pose”ac­cord­ing to a Ruther­glen coun­cil­lor.

Robert Brown was speak­ing af­ter it emerged the Royal Bank of Scot­land would close their Burn­side branch in Oc­to­ber.

The news fol­lowed on from three banks ei­ther clos­ing or an­nounc­ing they were clos­ing in Cam­bus­lang.

Coun­cil­lor Brown, who is seek­ing re-elec­tion in the Ruther­glen South ward for the Lib­eral Democrats, has now writ­ten to RBS call­ing on them to re­con­sider the clo­sure.

He said:“Banks – like post of­fices, li­braries, ad­vice ser­vices and pub­lic of­fices – are vi­tal to the health of lo­cal sub­ur­ban cen­tres like Burn­side, or in­deed Cam­bus­lang and Ruther­glen. If they go, then peo­ple go else­where to ac­cess money or pay bills and they don’t come back.

“The Scot­tish banks in par­tic­u­lar had to be res­cued by the tax­pay­ers in 2008 be­cause of the calami­tous mis­takes they made – but they were too im­por­tant to fail.

“Now it is time for them to re­pay that debt to the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties who had to pick up the bill.

“Every­one ac­cepts that much more busi­ness is done on line and that there may need to be changes in how things are done.

“But it is to­tally in­tol­er­a­ble for ma­jor banks just to with­draw with­out any lo­cal con­sul­ta­tion about al­ter­na­tive mod­els or the ef­fects on lo­cal ar­eas and lo­cal busi­nesses.

“The banks op­er­ate in a com­mer­cial world but they are em­phat­i­cally not just like other busi­nesses.”

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