Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has accused taxpayer owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) of turning its back on local communities by axing a further 6 branches in Wales. This is part of a programme of closures across the UK which for 2014 alone stands at a staggering total of 154.
Amongst the closures in Wales are branches at New Quay Dyfed and Whitland. RBS has identified both of these branches as “Last Bank in Town”, meaning that local communities will be left without access to any local banking facilities. Unite the union is urging the government to intervene and demand that the bank reverses its decision to pull out of isolated communities such as these.
Despite being majority owned by the taxpayer, RBS has reversed its decision not to close any of its branches classified as the last bank branch in town, despite this commitment being part of the bank’s customer charter.
RBS has stated that the bank has to rebuild trust with customers following the banking crisis and mis-selling scandals, but with 154 bank branch closures this year, commitments such as those contained within the charter are more likely to be viewed with cynicism.
Unite officer Steve Pantak said: “This is a stealth attack on local communities by a bailed out RBS. Taxpayers have a right to be angry that RBS has quietly embarked on a major programme of branch closures.
“While RBS senior executives get millions of pounds in payouts, there are communities in Wales being denied access to a local bank. The UK Government should intervene and demand that RBS rethinks these decisions.
“There has been no proper consultation with customers in advance of the announced closures and there is a real fear that these closures will hurt the communities affected.
“RBS’ decision to reverse its commitment not to close last banks in town means no Welsh community or its banking facilities are safe.”
The Branches in Wakes targeted for closure are New Quay Dyfed, Talgarth, Whitland, Llandysul, Llanybydder and Montgomery.
For further information please direct all press enquiries to Steve Pantak on 07854 996110.