During questions to the Scotland Office Luke Graham, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, called on the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, to join him in putting pressure on RBS to force them to reconsider its bank branch closure scheme.
The line of questioning followed a meeting Mr Graham had held with RBS representatives to voice the frustration of the constituents of Ochil & South Perthshire over how they have been treated by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Mr Graham has been campaigning hard on this issue since the announcement was made in December 2017, and it has become one of key issues in his first year as an MP.
In addition to today’s question, he has met with RBS representatives, Treasury Ministers, and local community representatives, as well as having directly asked the Prime Minister to intervene. He has also raised a petition, garnering hundreds of signatures, in an effort to convince the publicly owned bank to reverse its decision. Luke Graham has also sent letters to the Lending Standards Board to further push the issue.
Responding to Luke Graham, David Mundell said:
“I am very happy to meet [Luke Graham] and I am very disappointed by the Royal Bank of Scotland’s response to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee very significant report on this issue.”
The Scottish Affairs Committee’s report into plans by RBS to close 62 branches across Scotland, which came out last month, described the closure plans as a “devastating blow to affected communities,”.
The Committee also criticised the bank, saying it does not “fully appreciate” the damage these closures will inflict. It concludes that if RBS “truly wants to meet the needs of its customers, it should respond to this overwhelming evidence—which shows that there continues to be a strong demand for in branch services—and halt its closure programme.”
Commenting, Luke Graham MP, said:
“The Royal Bank of Scotland’s decision to close these branches has had a devastating impact upon the communities in Ochil and South Perthshire which are effected.
However, the callous indifference shown by RBS towards them has been incredibly damaging too. It is outrageous they have behaved this way.
I am pleased to have the support of David Mundell and look forward to meeting with him to discuss this further.”