IAN BLACKFORD:MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber


Ian Blackford MP has written to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Scotland to request an urgent meeting regarding the proposed closures of 62 RBS branches across Scotland. 

The SNP Westminster Leader has called on Philip Hammond and David Mundell to discuss the situation which is now critical, as Scotland’s rural communities face having no banking facilities. 

Ian Blackford MP condemned the Royal Bank of Scotland for abandoning their customers in a Parliament debate last night, and said the bank has been using “misleading” figures to defend the closures.

Thirteen Scottish towns are about to lose their last bank. Mr Blackford said RBS is trying to create a picture that these branches are a relic of the past, by only publishing the number of customers who visit every week of the year, rather than the total number of transactions at each branch. 

Mr Blackford had received some figures for transactions in the branches in his constituency, yet when using these to dispute the case put forward by RBS for the closures, and after requests for the same figures for other branches across Scotland, RBS has refused to publish any more.

Mr Blackford has said that there is a responsibility of the UK government, as a major shareholder, to intervene. 72 per cent of RBS is owned by the taxpayer.

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:

“I have requested an urgent meeting with the Chancellor and David Mundell – Scottish towns face losing their banking facilities and the UK government must take action.

“In Prime Minister’s Questions last week, Theresa May confirmed she does not intend to intervene on what she sees as a ‘commercial’ decision. Her response was shocking – she can’t wash her hands of this issue. People bailed out RBS, and now they are losing their local branches. 

“13 Scottish towns are about to lose their only bank – the Prime Minister is so out of touch she is unaware of how these closures will hit rural communities.

“The figures I have seen show RBS have been misleading. They have said the branch in Kyle has only 51 regular customers for example, yet 25,000 transactions a year allows me to conclude that the branch is still busy.

“RBS must come clean and tell us the number of transactions in all the threatened branches. It is a disgrace that RBS have not released the full figures and I call on RBS to publicly do so. 

“These issues must be raised by the UK government at the earliest opportunity in their role as a major shareholder. RBS has a duty to its customers, they really cannot repay our communities by withdrawing from them.
“The Tories can’t turn their back on rural Scotland.”