MP slams RBS executives over bank closures

Paul Masterton MP.
Paul Masterton MP.

Paul Masterton, MP for East Renfrewshire, has slammed RBS bosses during a special enquiry of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee into RBS branch closures across Scotland.

Last month, ‘The RBS Group’ announced it was closing 259 branches including 197 NatWest banks.

Although no East Renfrewshire banks were part of the latest round of closures, RBS have closed their branches in Barrhead, Newton Mearns and Netherlee in the past two years.

In addition the area has been hit by closures from other banks in recent months, including Bank of Scotland and Santander.

Mr Masterton highlighted that alternative provisions were not being made for the most vulnerable customers, with RBS suggesting that Mobile Vans would be used instead of branches as part of their community banking initiative.

In response to one of Mr Masterton’s questions, RBS suggested that if it was raining a member of staff would hold up an ‘umbrella’ for wheelchair bound customers having to do their banking outside the van. Mr Masterton also pointed RBS chiefs to the fact that Post Offices closures in East Renfrewshire make it an unacceptable alternative for everyday banking.

Mr Masterton, said: “RBS showed a total lack of understanding of the impact on communities and indeed their own reputational damage. They seem totally unbothered by it all. Banks have a social responsibility to provide a service for customers. One way they could re-build the broken trust the public has in them would be to not close all of these local branches. However, they seem unconcerned about public opinion.

“In the end, I was so frustrated and dismayed by their responses that I left them with one simple question: “Why on earth should anyone continue banking with RBS?”