Kate Forbes MSP has voiced her disappointment after an independent review into 10 under-threat RBS branches stated that the planned closures in Beauly and Kyle should proceed.
Johnston Carmichael stated that all banking functions in Beauly could be fulfilled by the mobile branch and Post Office, whilst in Kyle the report said branch usage was low and it was also not the last bank in town.
Kate Forbes MSP said she would be happy to work with the bank to see improvements in both areas, including the creation of pre-arranged collections for businesses seeking to deposit large amounts of cash.
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said: “As the MSP for Beauly and Kyle, I am of course disappointed that the RBS branches in both towns are to close.
“Whilst I recognise that branch use has been declining in both of these areas, there are still well-documented and legitimate questions regarding security and disabled access in the alternative banking provision.
“For example, the review plainly states that the branch closure in Beauly will cause difficulties for vulnerable customers, and so as the constituency MSP I am calling on RBS to work with me to put measures in place to provide specific support for them.
“It is disappointing that the review team never got to see the mobile bank in the Beauly, because it had broken down that particular day.
“It’s clear there is work to be done here, and, as the constituency MSP, I hope that RBS will work with me to listen to the views of the community council to ensure there are better routes and provision in the Beauly area.”
Kate Forbes MSP added: “I’m pleased that the review recognises that arrangements for businesses seeking to deposit large amounts of cash could be improved, and I strongly believe the mobile branch should offer pre-arranged collections from their premises.
“I hope there can be discussions to increase the service in both areas during the peak tourist season, as the figures demonstrate a clear spike for demand.”