Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Calls for ‘banking hub’ to ease the sting of rural closures

Post Thumbnail

The deputy first minister has called on banks to form “hubs” to save banking facilities in rural areas.

John Swinney believes several banks sharing one building could be the solution to branch closures, which have hit rural Perthshire hard in recent months.

In December 2017 RBS announced it was closing 62 branches, with the loss of 158 jobs. Branches in Perth, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy, Kinross, Comrie and Dunblane were among those axed in the months that followed.

They said the decision was based on customer numbers dropping by almost 50% since 2012 and they said internet banking had soared by 73%.

Last month, TSB announced plans to slash opening hours at branches including in Blairgowrie, Coupar Angus, Pitlochry and Aberfeldy.

It is understood Natwest, Lloyds and Barclays are currently piloting six shared hubs for business customers to test the viability of such an arrangement.

In a meeting with TSB officials last week, Mr Swinney confirmed there would be no job losses as a result of the reduced hours and also proposed they enter into a hub arrangement with other firms.

>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The Courier newsletter

He said: “The idea of a ‘banking hub’ is worthy of particular consideration and I hope this is something that can be explored.

“Whilst the cutting of branch opening hours is clearly not good news for local communities, it is preferable to outright closure.

“I would hope the business decisions taken by TSB will ensure the continued viability of branches across Perthshire but, should any attempts be made in future years to close these facilities, I will vigorously oppose such moves.”

A spokesman for TSB said they were open to the possibility of such a move.

He said: “Our focus remains on ensuring that our customers, especially the elderly and those most vulnerable to branch closures, receive the assistance they need to continue to access TSB banking services, including our partnership with the Post Office to provide basic account services.

“We are also open to exploring other options including banking hubs.”

A spokeswoman for RBS added: “We have approximately 2,500 physical service points where customers can access cash and banking services across Scotland through a variety of methods including our ATM network, branches, community bankers, mobile branches.

“This also includes our partnership with the 1400 Post Offices in Scotland, which acts as a shared banking hub where customers can do most of their every day banking needs.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in