200 discuss bank closures

John Lamont speaks to members of the public who attended the Duns meeting to discuss RBS branch closures.
John Lamont speaks to members of the public who attended the Duns meeting to discuss RBS branch closures.

Over 200 Borders residents attended meetings organised by local Conservative politicians to discuss the proposed closure of Royal Bank of Scotland branches.

A range of concerns were discussed at meetings in Duns, Hawick and Melrose including: the impact on elderly residents, businesses and charities; and whether mobile branches were fit for purpose.

At the Duns meeting, it was pointed out that if the RBS branch was closed, there would be no disabled access to banking in the town.

It was also revealed that the post office would only be able to accept up to £250 in coins, which would be a problem for some community groups wishing to deposit money raised through fundraising events.

Linda Bonar from the Post Office attended the meetings to talk people through the services the Post Office are able to offer in the event of these closures going ahead.

MP John Lamont and MSP Rachael Hamilton are now looking at holding similar meetings in Eyemouth, Jedburgh and Selkirk.

After the meetings, Borders MP John Lamont said: “To have 200 people turn up is a real demonstration of the level of feeling in the Borders about branch closures.

“Many more have contacted me to stress their concerns and I’m now hoping to fit in further meetings in other locations facing closures.”

“I think that RBS have been taken aback by the huge reaction to this. The fact that they have been forced in to a re-think already is a ray of hope that the battle to save our branches is not over yet.

“The views of everyone who came along will be fed in to the work of the Scottish Affairs Committee.”