28th December 2017

MSPS Call For Tory UK Government To Intervene On RBS Closures

Bruce Crawford MSP at Bannockburn RBS

Local MSPs Bruce Crawford and Keith Brown have called on Tory UK Government ministers to intervene on the planned closures of Alloa, Bannockburn, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane bank branches.

This week, Mr Crawford used his contribution to a debate on RBS closures in Holyrood to highlight the power that the UK Government has over RBS – noting that it owns 73% of shares and the Treasury has over 70% of voting rights. Mr Brown has written to the Chief Executive of Royal Bank of Scotland calling for a halt to the closures, highlighting that these would be a hammer blow to the local communities he represents, and leave no RBS branch in the entire constituency.

Earlier in the week, in response to a question from the SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford, the Prime Minister described the recent move from RBS as a “commercial decision.”

During the debate, Mr Crawford said:

“The UK Government owns 73 percent of RBS and the Treasury has over 70 percent of voting rights. The influence exists and our communities need the UK Government to use it… I say to the Tory Government that it is not simply a commercial decision; it is a social travesty.”

A petition to prevent the closure of Bannockburn RBS has gained over 2,700 signatures.

Commenting, Mr Crawford said:

“The closure of Bannockburn’s RBS branch will be a severe blow to the local community – including those in Fallin, Cowie, Plean and Hillpark. Many older people use the bank and rely on having this access to traditional banking services.

“These dedicated customers and taxpayers are the very people who bailed RBS out just a few years ago, for the Tory Government to brush this off as a commercial matter is an insult to those who have remained loyal to the bank throughout. It is about time that the UK Government sat up and took their responsibilities seriously – I will continue to pursue this with them and fight this closure.”

Keith Brown, whose Clackmannanshire and Dunblane Constituency has three RBS branches – Alloa, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane – threatened with closure, added:

Keith Brown MSP at RBS Alloa

Keith Brown MSP at RBS Alloa

“The damage to our communities that would be caused if these closures go ahead would be significant, and given that RBS is owned by the taxpayer since its collapse and bailout, the taxpayers I represent who rely on banking services in Alloa, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane are perfectly entitled to demand a halt to these closures.

“Therefore I am calling for an immediate moratorium on any RBS closures, and meaningful dialogue between the bank and the communities they serve about the way forward that maintains banking services for the individuals and businesses who rely on them.

“I am also calling on elected representatives of all parties, including the two Tory MPs who claim to have influence over the Tory Government, to join me in backing our communities by fully supporting this call for a moratorium on bank closures.”