Bank worry

But RB S say they had two com­plaints

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Only two com­plaints were made about the clo­sure of the Burn­side branch of the Royal Bank of Scot­land (RBS).

The fig­ure is con­tained in the branch clo­sure fact­sheet which has been pub­lished this month by RBS ahead of the clo­sure on October 12.

Only two com­plaints were made about the clo­sure of the Burn­side branch of the Royal Bank of Scot­land (RBS).

The fig­ure is con­tained in the branch clo­sure fact sheet, which has been pub­lished this month by RBS ahead of the clo­sure on October 12.

Of 152 pieces of feed­back, just two ob­jected to the plan, with the rest be­ing clas­si­fied as “en­quiries”, sug­gest­ing many lo­cals were re­signed to los­ing the branch.

RBS con­tin­ued to come un­der fire from cus­tomers and lo­cal coun­cil­lors this week as fur­ther de­tails of the clo­sure be­came clear.

In the doc­u­ment, cus­tomers are en­cour­aged to use the Ruther­glen branch, which is 1.1 miles from Burn­side.

Other branches listed in­clude Park­head, 3.3 miles away, and Shaw­lands which is nearly four miles away.

They also say some trans­ac­tions can be made at Burn­side Post Of­fice, al­though concerns have been raised else­where about pri­vacy in post of­fices for large trans­ac­tions.

Com­mu­nity bankers will con­tinue to op­er­ate in the area while tech­ni­cal ex­perts, knows as TechXperts, are avail­able to help with dig­i­tal bank­ing.

Concerns con­tinue to be raised about the im­pact of the clo­sure, es­pe­cially among older mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

Busi­ness­man Alex Robert­son, 83, is a reg­u­lar user of the bank.

He said the Ruther­glen branch is too far away and ques­tioned the con­sul­ta­tion process.

He ac­cused RBS of break­ing the in­dus­try pro­to­col, adding: “A lot of el­derly people, in­clud­ing my­self, be­lieve that a truth­ful, in­ter­nal anal­y­sis of the lo­cal people’s needs was def­i­nitely not taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

“Share­hold­ers and tax­pay­ers were never con­sulted on this clo­sure. The im­pact on the com­mu­nity is dev­as­tat­ing, as a lot of the el­derly, rightly or wrongly, are old school who be­lieve that RBS means lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties come first.”

Ruther­glen South coun­cil­lor, Robert Brown, said the con­sul­ta­tion that fol­lowed the an­nounce­ment of the clo­sure ear­lier this year was “never in­tended as any­thing other than a box tick­ing ex­er­cise.”

He said the bank should have con­sid­ered shar­ing a fa­cil­ity with other banks, adding: “RBS seem to have for­got­ten that per­sonal cus­tomers, lo­cal busi­nesses and lo­cal vol­un­tary sec­tor groups are their base, as they have been for sev­eral hun­dred years.” RBS say that they have ex­pe­ri­enced a 36 per cent drop in branch trans­ac­tions since 2010 with on­line and mo­bile bank­ing in­creas­ing by 400 per cent.

A spokesman for RBS told the Re­former they had ac­tu­ally “gone be­yond” the bank­ing pro­to­col.

He added that they had ex­tended the time be­tween the an­nounce­ment and clo­sure to six months and in­sisted other ways to bank were avail­able.

He added: “We in­ter­act with our cus­tomers over 20 times more through dig­i­tal chan­nels than phys­i­cal ones.

“As cus­tomers change the way they bank with us, we must change the way we serve them. The role of the branch is fast mov­ing to a cen­tre for ad­vice, away from ba­sic trans­ac­tions.

“While the branch will still be a core part of our of­fer­ing to cus­tomers, in­evitably some branches will have to close.”

Anger Busi­ness­man Alex Robert­son, 83, is a reg­u­lar user of the bank

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