Local views sought on RBS closures

© DC Thomson
Pete Wishart

The battle to save local banks in Courier Country will be brought before a government committee.

Local residents are being urged to push back in the fight against the closure of branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The views of locals are being sought as part of a Scottish Affairs Committee investigation into the closures.

The committee, which is chaired by Perth and North Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart, will conduct a one-off session looking at the proposed closures and what they will mean for Scotland on Wednesday January 17.

In order to capture a broad scope of opinion, the Scottish Affairs Committee has teamed up with the website Money Saving Expert to provide a forum for people to offer their views.

Mr Wishart said: “RBS have announced three branch closures in my constituency and more across the wider area. RBS officials have been asked to appear before the Scottish Affairs Committee to explain this decision and I expect it to be a pretty lively discussion.

“I would encourage anyone who has views on the RBS announcement to feed into the Money Saving Expert forum as a selection of these will feed into the discussion with RBS officials during the Parliamentary Committee hearing.”

At the start of December, it was announced that the Royal Bank of Scotland would be closing 62 branches in Scotland including in Aberfeldy, Alloa, Bridge of Allan, Comrie, Dunblane, Kinross, Perth and Pitlochry.

Other branches earmarked for closure include Dundee Stobswell and Montrose.

Across the UK, the bank is closing 259 branches, including 197 operated under the NatWest brand.

The sale of the buildings in Tayside and Fife would net just £800,000 for the taxpayer-owned bank, according to estimates from property surveyors.

Comrie would make just £71,300, despite the closure imposing a 46-mile round trip on customers to get to its next nearest branch.

Three of the branches – Aberfeldy, Kinross and Perth South Street – are rented.

Anyone wishing to contribute views can do so by visiting http://bit.do/rbsclosures  The forum will remain open until Tuesday January 9.