ATM will go too in bank clo­sure

Rubbing salt in wound, says coun­cil­lor

Strathearn Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Lynn Duke

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

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