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January 10, 2018

SRA takes up the cudgels

The announcement towards the end of last year that The Royal Bank of Scotland had decided to close 62 branches across Scotland has been greeted with particular dismay in the more remote rural and small town communities. The assumption that bank branches are a relic from the past and that online banking is the preferred option is one that many have taken issue with. Scottish Rural Action has taken up the cudgels on this issue and will be presenting evidence at the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster on 17th Jan. SRA is keen to gather your views.  


Scottish Rural Action

The announced closure of 62 RBS branches across Scotland in the last week has kicked off debate from village shops to Holyrood and was also raised at Prime Ministers Questions in Westminster.

We will be representing views at the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster on 17 January 2018 – so it’s really important we get a wide range of responses to our survey.  It should only take a couple of minutes to complete.

Emma Cooper, Chief Executive of Scottish Rural Action said

Since RBS was bailed out by the British tax payers in 2008, we own 71% of the business. RBS should be acting in the interest of our communities, not just for making profit for its bosses.

Scottish Rural Action is undertaking this research to find out what the impacts will be on our rural communities and their high streets.  Some suggest it may be a good thing as it will free up shop units for other types of businesses, whilst others argue it will drive away business.  We expect the survey to show complex results with a range of impacts.

Scottish Rural Action will take full range of views collected to an evidence session at Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster on 17 January 2018, so it is important we are able to fully represent rural Scotland.

We know anecdotally impacts of these planned branch closures will hit rural communities the hardest, and it will be the elderly and those who rely on public transport that will be disproportionately affected.  Island communities and villages in the Highlands and Borders may have to do round trips of several hours to do their cash banking.  We know that many rural communities do not have reliable high speed broadband or mobile signal to use the digital solutions on offer for a limited number of services.