RBS clo­sure goes against guide­lines

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

With ref­er­ence to the clos­ing of the Burn­side branch of RBS, I would like to make the fol­low­ing points re­lat­ing to the ac­cess to bank­ing pro­to­col in­for­ma­tion sent to me re­cently as ex­pla­na­tion for the clo­sure.

Ac­cess to bank­ing: from my house to Burn­side is 0.8 miles and from my house to Ruther­glen it is 1.9 miles. As a dis­abled, blue card holder I am able to park most places but un­for­tu­nately other bank users do not have that priv­i­lege.

Pre-clo­sure as­sess­ment: a lot of el­derly peo­ple (in­clud­ing my­self ) be­lieve that a truth­ful, in­ter­nal anal­y­sis of lo­cal peo­ple’s needs was def­i­nitely not taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

Com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and im­pact as­sess­ment: share­hold­ers and tax­pay­ers were never con­sulted on this clo­sure. The im­pact on the com­mu­nity is dev­as­tat­ing. Is­sues that were not con­sid­ered in­clude peo­ple hav­ing busi­ness and per­sonal ac­counts who have no de­sire to do their bank­ing online due to fraud alerts and who have no trust in the bank’s se­cu­rity mea­sures. Also the frail and lower-in­come fam­i­lies will find it dif­fi­cult to reach an al­ter­na­tive branch.

Pub­li­ca­tion of im­pact as­sess­ment: the re­sults were not made pub­lic be­fore­hand.

En­sur­ing con­tin­ued pro­vi­sion of al­ter­na­tive ways to bank: no con­sid­er­a­tion has been given to this at all. The only real op­tion here is to change banks to the Bank of Scot­land. The Post Of­fice is no al­ter­na­tive at all as they will be un­able to cope with the queues this dis­rup­tion will cause. Online is not avail­able for all bank users and a lot of peo­ple pre­fer to have their bank­ing needs dealt with on a more per­sonal level. That means speak­ing di­rectly to some­one for help and guid­ance. The other branches men­tioned be­fore are still too far.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion ar­range­ments: I can con­firm that no one from the lo­cal area was aware be­fore­hand of this clo­sure and was quite shocked when they even­tu­ally did find out through lo­cal chit-chat and not com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the bank.

I find it bizarre that this ex­tremely busy branch had to be closed at all and the al­ter­na­tives ex­pressed by the pow­ers that be bear no re­la­tion to com­mon sense.

As part of the 73 per cent of the tax­pay­ers who own the bank thanks to Mr Goodwin, I con­sider my hu­man rights have been to­tally ig­nored.

I can as­sume that Mark Hamil­ton (Glas­gow CEO for RBS) was responsible for the de­ci­sion to close, mak­ing it more awk­ward for busi­ness and pri­vate ser­vices.

I have been a loyal cus­tomer of this branch for 47 years and I see now that means noth­ing.

Alex Robert­son, Cold­stream Drive, Ruther­glen

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