Letter: RBS closures based on wrong information

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Sir,

I received a letter this week from Paul Cunningham, local CEO, Royal Bank of Scotland, informing me: ‘We’re closing Royal Bank of Scotland Campbeltown branch on May 29 2018.’

The letter starts with a paragraph of improvements to the ways customers can bank with RBS.

While I understand that banking methods have changed drastically in the 45 years that I have been a customer at RBS Campbeltown I do not view the closure of a branch as an improvement.

Over the years I have received a first class service from the staff and nothing can replace a face-to-face service.

On Friday, December 1, when this news was released to the press I looked on the RBS website and found the six-page document: ‘Help and support for personal and business customers’ Campbeltown branch closure May 29 2018.

Page three lists seven criteria on: ‘How we decide to close a branch.’

I would like to take issue with three of these: Impact on customers who use this branch, the proximity of our other branches, including our network of mobile branches, and local transport routes and timetables.

How has RBS measured the impact on customers? Were surveys carried out?

The ‘nearest places to bank’ lists Brodick, at 47.5 miles, and Dunoon, at 70 miles. This information is completely incorrect and I am greatly concerned this erroneous information has contributed to the decision to close the Campbeltown branch.

Public transport between Campbeltown and Oban is by bus. There are no direct buses, meaning a change-over is required to catch a bus to Oban, sometimes with a three-hour wait.

I would have hoped that this had been fully studied by RBS as there are only three journeys possible a week, two with more than nine hours of journey time, and one with more than seven hours.

Visiting the branch in Campbeltown this week I noticed a new poster on display: ‘This branch is closing but you can still bank with us, pop in and see us at our Oban branch.’

It should add: ‘If you have a day to spare!’

At least someone had recognised that our nearest branch is Oban, not Dunoon or Brodick.

Looking at the list of 62 branches to be closed, it would seem that the distance to a nearest branch is greatest for Campbeltown.

I completed a complaint form on Monday, December 4, and received a reply today which included the statement: ‘I understand and appreciate your concerns that the bank has announced that several branches are due to close.

I do not regard 62 branch closures as being ‘several’ and attitudes like this do not help.

All those  branch staff who have been given notice of redundancy just before Christmas would probably agree.

Catherine Dobbie,

Low Askomil,

Campbeltown.