ATM will go too in bank closure
Rubbing salt in wound, says councillor
Comrie is to not only lose its last remaining bank but the automated teller machine is to go as well.
Plans submitted to Perth and Kinross Council for the decommissioning of the C-listed building that houses the Shaky Village branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland include the removal of the external ATM.
Strath residents were angered to hear the announcement that they were losing another local branch of the bank and it seems the closure also means they will now have no hole-in-the-wall facility.
A spokesperson for RBS said there will still be a cashpoint in the village.
However villagers have pointed out that this is an internal cashpoint within a local shop so access is not 24 hours. And cashpoints only dispense cash and balance information; they do not provide the range of services that ATMs do.
Perth and Kinross Strathearn ward councillor Stewart Donaldson said the loss of the ATM will be problematic.
He told the Herald: “Clearly, along with all the other closures in Perth and Kinross, it is going to make things very difficult.
“It’s not just the closure of the building, the closure of the cash machine will leave the community bereft.
“If they do indeed close the ATM, that is really rubbing salt into the wound. You would have thought at the very minimum they could keep the cash machine.”
Up the road in Aberfeldy locals are taking to the streets tomorrow (Friday) to protest against the planned closure of their local branch.
Highland Perthshire residents have also started a petition and want to make RBS realise the damage it is causing in rural communities.
As with Comrie folk, they are concerned about the impact the closures will have on the local economy. The document, which has already garnered 500 signatures, is expected to be brought to the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster on Wednesday, January 17, by Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire.
Comrie Community Council will be discussing the issue at its monthly meeting tonight (Thursday) in the White Church at 7.30pm.
Cha i rman Dav i d Robertson hopes that a lot of people will attend. He said: “The general opinion is that it will be a terrible loss to the village. We have had one or two letters written in to the community council about the proposed closure and it will be on the agenda this week.
“Anytime I pass the ATM there is always someone there. It is a very busy ATM so why they want to close that I have no idea. I don’t
want the bank to go and I don’t want the ATM to go and a lot of people in the village are feeling the same.
“Public opinion is a great thing so surely the bank should take a wee think to themselves.
“The more people that get on board to object the better.
“Comrie has an elderly population and not everyone is up to speed with electronic banking.
“In addition people come from Crieff to use the bank and that has a spin-off on the local shops and cafes.”
But some Comrie residents feel the closures are already a done deal.
One resident described them as being “well thought out and obviously on the plate for a while”.
An RBS representative previously explained: “We’ve taken the decision to close these branches after an extensive review and careful consideration of local factors, including the other ways customers will be able to bank locally.
“In the majority of cases we’re ensuring a local face-to-face service, via our community bankers and/or a mobile bank on wheels, in addition to the access our customers have to everyday banking at the Post Office.”
Last week the Herald asked RBS for more details about its mobile banking provision in Crieff and Comrie but at the time of going to press had received no answers.
Shutting down Comrie’s RBS bank and ATM machine are both earmarked to go Concerned Councillor Stewart Donaldson
Meeting Comrie Community Council chair David Robertson