RBS executives 'not listening', says Committee

17 January 2018

The Scottish Affairs Committee Chair Pete Wishart MP releases a statement on the "unsatisfactory" and disappointing evidence given by Royal Bank of Scotland executives.

The Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee comments:

"The whole committee has been left disappointed and frustrated with the unsatisfactory appearance of RBS executives at the Scottish Affairs Committee. They seem to not be listening to the deep concerns from communities right across Scotland over their branch closure programme.

It is abundantly clear that RBS did not consult with anyone over their plan to close a third of their branches. They do not seem to appreciate just how devastating the loss of a bank can be to a local community, and quite how important easy access to banking services is to individuals and businesses. Nor do they appear to have any intention to reconsider their position despite the views expressed by local people, or by the witnesses we heard from today - Scottish Rural Action, Unite Scotland and Scottish Chamber of Commerce. Instead they could not rule out further branch closures.

We should not forget that this is a company whose very survival was assured by £45 billion from the tax payer, who still own a 70% stake. Yet we were told that due to changes in "customer behaviour", branches will close, creating savings of £9.5 million. Instead people will have to rely on internet banking in areas where connections are poor, or a mobile branch which will be available for perhaps an hour a week.

At a minimum, RBS needs to show greater care for their customers and show more openness in how they reach decisions that have such serious consequences for so many people.

As a committee we will carefully consider what we have heard today and may take further steps."

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