Anger over yet more bank branch closures on the southside

The Clydesdale bank branch is closing in June folloowed by the RBS in October.
The Clydesdale bank branch is closing in June folloowed by the RBS in October.

As the news was announced that yet another bank is to close its doors on the southside, political foes have joined forces to denounce the situation.

The Royal Bank of Scotland have decided to close their Newton Mearns branch at The Avenue citing a lack of use as the reason behind their decision.

The decision follows hot on the heels of two RBS closures last August, The TSB closing its Newton Mearns branch in November last year and the Clydesdale’s decision to pull the rug on its Giffnock branch.

The local MP is demanding a meeting with bank bosses in order to outline her concerns about the proposed closure and urge a rethink. Ms Oswald is also seeking assurances from Royal Bank of Scotland that everything possible is being done to minimise the impact of its decision on customers and staff should the proposed closure go ahead.

Royal Bank of Scotland proposes to close its Newton Mearns branch on October 2 this year with customers being advised that their closest branch will now be three miles away in Giffnock.

Kirsten said: “I am deeply disappointed that Royal Bank of Scotland has announced proposals to close yet another branch in East Renfrewshire. This would have a devastating impact on a number of local businesses and customers who rely on this branch for their banking services, not to mention the branch staff who may be facing redundancy as a result of this decision.

“A recent investigation by consumer watchdog Which? showed that East Renfrewshire is one of the worst affected areas in the whole country for bank closures, and this was before the announcement of this closure and that of the Clydesdale branch in Giffnock this June

“Residents in East Renfrewshire are rightly concerned about being asked to travel further to access banking services, with local branch closures negatively impacting elderly and disabled customers in particular. I am concerned that this decision by Royal Bank of Scotland has yet again been taken without consulting the local community and I have asked for a meeting with them to get answers on my concerns”.

Meanwhile, The Greens have responded to the announcement that RBS are to close 30 Scottish branches affecting 176 full time posts by calling on the UK Government to act now.

Green council candidate for Southside Central, Cass Macgregor spoke out against the proposed closures which will also affect the RBS branch on Victoria Road.

“It is perhaps little surprise that once again the banks are causing communities economic misery

“Of course, online and mobile services have become more popular. However, what about the large number of people in Glasgow who still do not use or have access to the internet?

Concerns were also raised about those most likely to be affected by branch closures.

The party spokesperson for health and social care added: “Some banking queries are complex and require face to face interaction and we have to recognise that people with disabilities may require a physical branch.”

Jackson Carlaw MSP said: “It will be a shock to many older residents who utilise the RBS branch at The Avenue that is going to close, especially following the closure of so many other local bank branches.

“There are strict regulatory requirements for consultation prior to closure in which the interests of residents must not be disregarded.

“For those affected who require branch services, I say vote with your feet and move to a bank who will actually look after you.

“There is no requirement to give RBS your business if they aren’t interesting in looking after you.”

And, with some good news on the horizon, we can reveal that East Renfrewshire’s Credit Union, Pioneer Mutual, has been granted agency banking status, the first credit union in Scotland to achieve this important milestone.

At the same time as achieving this status, Pioneer Mutual have also launched a new website, www.pioneercu.coop.

This features a loan calculator, budget planner, online membership applications and loan applications, with further innovations planned in the near future.