Monday, November 11, 2019
The skye times mobile

Kate Forbes MSP has made a fact-finding visit to the Kyle of Lochalsh Royal Bank of Scotland branch, which has been earmarked for closure.

During the visit, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch met with the regional manager Paul Dykes as well as local staff, and has expressed firm opposition on behalf of her constituents.

Last week Ms Forbes led a Scottish Parliament debate on the closure of banks in rural areas.

Following RBS' recent announcement, branches in Aviemore, Beauly, Kyle and Mallaig are expected to close.

The Kyle branch has almost 2,500 customers, and last year saw 25,000 transactions. If the closure goes ahead, the nearest branch is over 30 miles away in Portree.

Kate Forbes MSP said: "I visited the Kyle branch because I wanted to meet the staff and some of the customers who face the greatest challenge with the announcement by Royal Bank of Scotland's decision to close the branch.

"Of course, it must be a very unsettling time for everybody connected with the branch.

"I was amazed by the absolute dedication of the staff to their customers, who are keen to ensure that nobody is anxious about how they will bank. I recommend that if any customers are worried, they should pop into the branch and chat to the staff who will help with any questions."

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch continued: "Obviously, I would like to see RBS reverse its decision to close the branch, and I will be absolutely calling for that in the Scottish Parliament this week.

"However, I am adamant that all customers' needs must be catered for.

"Of particular concern to me are elderly and vulnerable customers, who are some of the branch's most loyal customers.

"The physical branch might be leaving the Highlands but that is no excuse for poor customer service or failing to meet customer needs.

"Clearly, businesses and personal customers both need access to banking services – to withdraw and deposit cash, to open and close account and to take out loans and mortgages.

"RBS and other banks are going to have to up their game to ensure that rural customers are not disadvantaged because the impact on the rural economy would be colossal."

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