STOP RBS Tongue Branch Closure

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The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced the closure of the Tongue branch for June this year.

Local bank branches are central to community life. Having access to your local bank is vital, and expecting people to travel long distances to visit their bank is unacceptable. The RBS branch is the only bank in the area.

Not everyone has access or wants to bank online. Broadband in our area is slow and unreliable. Mobile reception is generally very poor in the area.

Local people, businesses and community groups will be badly affected by the branch closure.

RBS themselves state that the next available branch is 43.1miles away, driving time approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. The next free-to-use cash machine is 29.5 miles away, driving time approximately 1 hour.

RBS are promising to send round a mobile branch. This vehicle however is not accessible for wheel chair users and very difficult for the less able-bodied. Looking at the time table for other rural areas we could end up with the same service as Lairg where the mobile branch visits fortnightly for only 15 Minutes.

RBS says small businesses and individuals can do their banking in the Post Office. That means they are just passing the buck, asking small rural PO shops to take over the responsibility of storing cash for withdrawals or takings that small businesses and community groups have deposited.

Depositors will have to wait while deposits are laboriously counted and processed. This will lead to a build-up of queues, frustration and very bad PR for the company that caused it -YOU!

Branch closure will also have an impact on tourism. The NC500 is very popular but a lot of small business can’t afford the fees for processing credit cards. With no bank and no ATM to get cash tourist will be spending less money in the area and travel through faster. Post Offices frequently cannot give cash against European cards in the same way as RBS can.

The loss of 3 jobs does not sound much in today’s world. But in a rural area like ours where permanent jobs are difficult to come by it is huge.

The Royal Bank of Scotland still is majority owned by the UK government. It is us tax payers and bank customers that pay the CEOs salary.

I am calling on RBS to reconsider this decision and keep the Tongue branch open.



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