RBS faces re­volt

Big kick in the teeth, says busi­ness­man

Perthshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Me­lanie Bonn

The Royal Bank of Scotland has come un­der fire for plans to slash mo­bile bank­ing vis­its to some towns and vil­lages in Perth and Kin­ross.

The bank­ing gi­ant re­vealed a num­ber of changes to mo­bile bank­ing ear­lier this week.

And one busi­ness in Cri­eff, where the ser­vice will be cut in half, has re­vealed it will close its RBS ac­count be­cause of the move.

Jamie Ste­wart is owner of the two De­liv­ino restau­rants plus a new Ital­ian take­away which opened in Cri­eff dur­ing Fe­bru­ary.

He told the PA: “I’m very an­gry at the way the RBS is treat­ing Scotland. The bank is not sup­port­ing ru­ral ar­eas and this move to cut back mo­bile bank­ing an­nounced on Wednesday is a big kick in the teeth”.

“It was bad enough with­out scaling back the time RBS mo­bile ser­vices plan to al­low my staff to bank money. They will be re­duc­ing what was al­ready a skele­ton ser­vice.

“The plan to take our to­tal weekly mo­bile bank­ing time in Cri­eff down to half an hour is ba­nanas. I be­lieve I will have to

in­cur the cost of mov­ing.

“The near­est RBS for us is Stir­ling, if other busi­nesses are hav­ing to squeeze aboard in the same tiny time win­dow to bank tak­ings, it will be im­pos­si­ble.

“As of Wednesday’s an­nounce­ment, I’ve de­cided to move De­liv­ino Cri­eff ’s ac­count to an­other bank. Al­ready the Auchter­arder out­let has been switched from RBS to Bank of Scotland. And the take­away in Cri­eff, when we opened it in Fe­bru­ary, was set up with Cly­des­dale Bank.”

As well as Cri­eff, Bir­nam and Alyth will see a re­duc­tion in ser­vice while Mei­gle’s has been cut com­pletely.

How­ever, the ser­vice will now serve Kin­ross, Aber­feldy and Com­rie.

Con­cerns have been raised by se­nior politi­cians about the changes.

Roseanna Cun­ning­ham MSP for the Perthshire South and Kin­ross-shire con­stituency said the de­ci­sion to add a stop at Com­rie would “cor­rupt the value of any us­age data” used in de­ter­min­ing whether a tem­po­rary re­prieve granted to the branch there would be ex­tended.

She added: “I want th­ese is­sues ad­dressed and I want to know what ef­forts were made at cus­tomer con­sul­ta­tion be­fore th­ese changes were de­cided.”

Con­ser­va­tive Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith said: “Stop­ping in a town for 15 or 20 min­utes might be good enough for an ice cream van or a fish­mon­ger, but not for those want­ing to ac­cess bank­ing ser­vices.

“Cus­tomers in Com­rie, Aber­feldy and Pit­lochry have been as­sured that they will re­ceive ad­e­quate mo­bile bank­ing if their branch is to close and I have writ­ten to RBS to seek as­sur­ances on this front.”

The char­ity for the el­derly, Age Scotland, has also re­acted to the news.

Brian Sloan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Age Scotland, said: “Fol­low­ing RBS’s de­ci­sion to close branches across Scotland, it is very dis­ap­point­ing to see the bank now cut­ting back its mo­bile ser­vices.

“We un­der­stand that there are fi­nan­cial rea­sons for clos­ing some branches, but would urge RBS and other banks to look at cre­ative solutions to cater for all their cus­tomers.”

Mov­ing banks Jamie Ste­wart’s De­liv­ino in Cri­eff won the Daily Record’s Hot Plate award in 2015

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