Wednesday, 28 May 2014
Earlier today, I met with senior Royal Bank officials as part of the campaign to prevent closure of the Perth Road Branch of the bank.
Over 370 local people have already signed my petition that allows residents to oppose the closure and calls on Royal Bank of Scotland to keep the branch open and I handed the petition to the Royal Bank representatives at the meeting.
What was very clear from the meeting is that the bank has decided to close the branch for commercial reasons and I reiterated my request to see usage statistics for the Perth Road branch over the past few years. When I initially contacted the bank to express concern about the proposed closure, the bank’s response indicated that a key factor in its decision was drop in customer usage of the branch and it cited a 30% reduction in branch transactions since 2010 across its bank network.
Being aware of the fact that the branch continues to be very well used by customers in the local community, I have been asking for details of the actual customer usage at the branch in the past five years. The bank has had to admit that customer use at the Perth Road Branch has not fallen in way usage has fallen in other branches. But it has still not provided evidence of usage and seems determined to go ahead with closing the branch.
The bank officials today did give a commitment today to ensure that the transfer of some banking services for RBS customers across the road to the Perth Road Post Office will cover as comprehensive a set of services as possible. Although that is positive in that it retains some banking services for RBS customers in Perth Road, it does rather rely on its continuance on an agreement with a third party - Post Office Limited.
I would like to thank all local people who have signed the petition against closure and also all who have written to RBS arguing for retention of the Perth Road Branch. I will continue to argue against the closure of this well-used branch.
I was interviewed on STV News tonight about the issue and you can see this here. I also spoke on Radio Tay News about the issue earlier today - click 'play' below to hear the interview: