RBS has failed to fully appreciate the “damage” that will be caused by its decision to close dozens of its branches, a report by MPs has found.
The Scottish Affairs Committee urged the bank, which is majority-owned by the taxpayer, to halt plans to axe 52 branches across Scotland, describing the move as a “devastating blow” to those communities.
Chair Pete Wishart said: “RBS did not consult adequately and even at this last stage should reverse their decision to close these branches.”
The plans have attracted fierce criticism from local communities and businesses.
The committee report said the closures would remove “vital services relied upon by businesses and disproportionately affecting vulnerable customers”.
It urged the government to pressure RBS to reconsider.
RBS said the closures were in response to increasing numbers of customers using mobile and online banking.
An RBS spokesman said: “Across Scotland, usage of our branches is down 44% since 2011; only 1% of our customers in Scotland visit their branch weekly; and seven in 10 customers are using mobile or online banking.”
A Treasury spokesman said: “The decision to open and close branches is a commercial decision taken by the management team of each bank.
“The Government does not intervene in these decisions.”
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