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By Mark Davey
A petition asking the Royal Bank of Scotland to rethink plans to shut the Campbeltown branch was handed out by Argyll and Bute’s MP.
Brendan O’Hara, who represents the constituency at Westminster, toured Campbeltown last Friday handing out petition forms in shops and businesses which he will collect early in January.
Once staunch Labour man and former Strathclydge regional councillor, George McMillan had been reassured the petition did not mention the SNP he agreed to take it in his newsagents.
Mr McMillan said he might be able to collect 2,000 signatures. He said he deplores the threatened closure for the effect it may have on businesses, such as his which only take cash.
Mr O’Hara said: ‘I have put out three petitions, in Inveraray, Bute and Campbeltown.
‘The rubicon of potentially closing the last branch in town has been crossed in Inveraray.
‘A precedent has been set by the government in 2013. When Stephen Hester was ousted as the RBS chief executive there was an intervention from the treasury led by chancellor George Osborne to force the matter as the bank is 73 per cent state owned.
‘Yet prime minister Theresa May has said it is a commercial decision.’
First to sign the Campbeltown petition was Councillor Rory Colville followed by former policeman Bob Stewart.
Speaking about the closure, Councillor John Armour said: ‘What does a bar or pub do on the Monday after the music festival when perhaps they have thousands in cash to bank?’
Ivor Watson at fruit and veg shop McIvor’s said: ‘I am having to consider changing banks after being with RBS for more than 50 years.
‘I would like to ask RBS chief executive, Ross McEwan what ‘Here for you,’ means to him?’
George McMillan speaks to Brendan O’Hara about the petition. 25_c52rbspetition02_george_McMillan_Brendan_O’Hara