Letter: Searching questions for RBS

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Sir,

By closing these 62 branches the Royal Bank of Scotland is riding roughshod over the very people who are paying for their jobs.

They are ignoring the concerns which have been raised by their customers and by politicians alike.

Banks are the hub of many small communities and with the Highlands and Islands lagging behind the rest of Scotland in broadband technology, this is an outrageous stance for the bank to take.

Some towns and villages in the Highlands and Islands will be left without a bank at all with businesses having no-where to bank their cash and pensioners having no-where to access their pension payments.

It cannot be outwith the wit of bank bosses to get their heads together and come up with an agreement to keep one bank branch open in every town and village between them.

To say online facilities are available as an alternative is simply not true in many areas of the Highlands and Islands.

They say their contract with the Post Office provides another option for customers wishing to carry out simple banking transaction.

Post Offices are closing down hand over fist in the Highlands and Islands too so that cannot be used as a justifiable excuse.

Do all the mobile banks provide disabled access?  I will be asking them that.

They say they will extend mobile facilities across the Highlands and Islands.

How many times will these mobile facilities visit Barra or Beauly each week where there will be no banking facilities. I will be asking them that too.

In terms of their response on how these closures will affect their staff in these branches, they say they will do all they can to avoid compulsory redundancies.

I say if they can offer staff in Barra an alternative job without having to leave the island, they will be doing very well indeed.

This is an outrageous stance for this bank, which is largely owned by us, to take.

Rhoda Grant,

MSP,

Highlands and Islands.