Published: 01/12/2017 09:52 - Updated: 01/12/2017 09:54

RBS to axe its two branches in Badenoch and Strathspey


Kate Forbes MSP has blasted RBS closures
Kate Forbes MSP has blasted RBS closures


RBS has announced it is to axe its branches in Aviemore and Grantown next summer.

The banking giant plans to close a quarter of its branches across Scotland by June next year.

In total 62 branches face closure with the loss of 165 jobs.

Aviemore has been timetabled to close on May 31 and Grantown will shut its doors for the last time on June 11.

Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes MSP has accuses RBS of deserting the Highlands

As well as Aviemore, other branches to close in her constituency are Beauly, Kyle of Lochalsh and Mallaig.

She has said it will leave some constituents more than 40 miles away from their nearest RBS.

Although in all cases there are alternative arrangements with the local Post Office as well as a visiting mobile bank, Ms Forbes MSP said she was deeply concerned what the closures will mean for rural communities across Scotland.

Ms Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said: "RBS is just the latest bank to abandon the Highlands and forget the locally communities who depend on their services. These banks are deserting the Highlands.

"How are elderly and vulnerable customers supposed to access banking services, when they are expected to travel so far? That is, of course, if the bus service is working perfectly.

"Banks face choices as to where they focus their activities and it is clear but the waves of closures across the Highlands that national banks are failing rural customers and businesses in the region.

"It is not just exceptionally poor customer service for loyal customers who have been with that bank sometimes for decades. It is a dereliction of responsibility."

Ms Forbes added: "Many of us now use online banking, whether on the internet or by phone apps but the local branch is still very important for those who depend on physically visiting the local branch, such as elderly customers or businesses depositing cash.

"I have already spoken with senior representatives at RBS and I will further express my grave concerns about customers accessing banking services.

"I believe that it is critical that all these customers are still able to access core banking services locally, without having to travel elsewhere and I will keep constituents updated on progress to keep banking services local.

"I have been assured that there are local post office services in each of these locations which offer very similar services to the branch, and there will be an enhanced mobile bank.

"However, that is in the worst case scenario, because in advance of that my colleague Ian Blackford MP and I will be making clear that we do not want these branches to close."

RBS has been blasted by the Unite union.

Unite Scotland’s Regional Officer, Lyn Turner, said: "RBS’s 2016 annual report states that they want ‘to transform the bank into the number one for customer service, trust and advocacy.’

"What we have in 2017 is a plan which amounts to institutional financial vandalism on a scale which has never been seen in this country ever before. Customer service? Trust? Don’t make me laugh."

She continued: "In 2016 the directors of RBS earned £8.3m. The annual report states that the ‘aggregate remuneration of directors and key managers’ is £23.4m.

"So for the top of RBS its business as usual – how the money rolls in. For the loyalty the workers of the bank have shown RBS since the 2008 crash their payment is not knowing if they will have a job come June next year."

For the last six months RBS has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on an advertising campaign to convince the Scottish people that it is not the Royal Bank of Scotland BUT the Royal Bank for Scotland.

Ms Turner added: "This is not the Royal Bank for Scotland. It’s the Royal Bank for its top directors and executives filling their boots while they devastate local communities with bank closures and destroy hundreds of quality jobs."

What do you think of RBS’s decision? Will it create problems for you? Contact us at or by calling 01479 872102.

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