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23 March 2017

MSP Says Buckie Branch 'Vital' for Area after Closure Plans Revealed

A branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to shut its doors in seven months in a North East town.

In a letter to Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, the company said the move was being taken as a result of the “rapidly changing” way in which customers were now doing their banking. It means the current Royal Bank of Scotland Branch in Buckie will close on October 4th this year. The decision by the company comes after Clydesdale Bank also revealed it would be shutting a number of branches earlier this year.

The Royal Bank of Scotland said between 2010 and 2015 both mobile and online transactions have increased by more than 400%. Mobile transactions alone have increased by 1,350%. In a letter to Mr Stevenson, the Bank also said the number of transactions have decline by 34%. More than 50% of staff have also been choosing to use digital banking options instead. The letter said:

“We are communicating with our customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers.

“We have listened closely to feedback from local communities and have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months.
“This has been done in order to ensure our customers have time to consider the right banking options for them.

“We know that not all of our customers are comfortable and familiar with using online or mobile banking, so we have created a new specialist taskforce of TechXperts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills.

“From next month, at least one TechXpert will be available in each Royal Bank of Scotland branch.”

Commenting on the decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland to close its Buckie branch, Mr Stevenson said:

“I am disappointed to hear the Buckie branch of the Royal Bank is to close later this year.

“While I understand more and more people are doing their banking online, local branches are vital for rural areas.

“Many older people do not use internet banking and a local branch is a real lifeline for them.”
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