RBS to get grilling over future of Perthshire branch

© Kim Cessford
Locals in fancy dress staged a demonstration against recent RBS closures.

RBS officials face a grilling from local politicians over the future of a closure-threatened Perthshire branch.

The bank at Comrie was one of 10 offered a reprieve earlier this month – but only until the end of the year. Customers have been warned to use the service or lose it for good.

Bosses will monitor branch usage and new business over the next 10 months before commissioning an independent review to help decide its future.

On Friday, branch officers will be quizzed about their plans for the Drummond Street service during talks with local Conservative politicians.

Liz Smith MSP and Luke Graham MP are calling for transparency and engagement from the bank.

They are also asking constituents to get in touch before the meeting to suggest any specific points that need to be raised.

Ms Smith said locals were concerned the move by RBS was little more than window dressing, before the branch’s eventual closure.

“I look forward to meeting RBS officials this Friday and I hope that these discussions prove productive,” she said. “I am also encouraging local people to get in touch with my office with specific concerns that they would like me to raise.

“This whole issue has been handled poorly and it is high time RBS came forward and met with customers to properly explain their decision.”

She said: “Comrie has been handed a reprieve until the end of the year, and it is important that we know exactly what this means and what thresholds are required for it to stay open.”

Mr Graham is gathering signatures for a petition, calling for the branch to be retained.

He said: “Hundreds of constituents have got in touch with me to voice their concern at the proposed closure of RBS Comrie.

“My petition has attracted considerable  support, receiving hundreds of signatures, and it is important that these people get a fair hearing.”

Mr Graham added: “Ultimately, hundreds rely on RBS banking in Comrie and removing this vital lifeline service is not in anyone’s interests.

“It is also important that the reprieve Comrie has earned is fair, and that the odds are not stacked against it remaining open.”

Other local branches, including Aberfeldy, Kinross, Perth South Street and Pitlochry, are still earmarked for closure.