George outside Paisley's East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

George Takes Branch Closure Issue to Holyrood

The issue of bank branch closures has recently been highlighted in the Scottish Parliament by Paisley’s MSP George Adam. In light of the recent announcement by the Bank of Scotland that its East End branch will be closed, George asked Minister for Business, Fergus Ewing MSP his thoughts on the recent announcement. This closure follows on from two by the Royal Bank of Scotland in the last two years, with its Town Centre and East End branches both shutting their doors for the final time.

George outside Paisley's East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

George outside Paisley’s East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

Answering George’s parliamentary question on the subject, Mr Ewing said, “It is essential that banking services are available and accessible to all members of our communities and that appropriate alternative access arrangements are put in place.

“We understand that not everyone in society is able to access online banking—it does not suit everyone. I hope that our banks will take on board the message that I am reinforcing now when they consider such matters in future. I am pleased that
Mr Adam has raised the matter, and we will continue to ensure that the views that local members from throughout the country express strongly are clearly communicated to our banks in Scotland.

Speaking after the parliamentary exchange, George commented, “I was pleased that the Minister for Business shared my concerns and mirrored many of the comments made by the customers affected by closures of both the Bank of Scotland and RBS. As previously stated, I have written to the Bank of Scotland stating my constituents concerns, however three weeks have passed and I have yet to receive a response. How can people trust that their banking will be carried out on time when there bank takes so long to respond to my letter?

‘Faceless banking is becoming an all too familiar norm in modern society. It does not cater for people who do not use mobile, telephone or internet banking. Elderly residents in Whitehaugh, Ralston and Seedhill are within easy walking distance of this branch, and have been for years. This is how they bank, face to face, over the counter round the corner from their home. Now they will be expected to walk into the centre of our town to deal within their bank. I am extremely disappointed that to date, Bank of Scotland have not responded to my letter. However I will continue to put pressure on this multi-million pound organisation to continue to have a branch in our town’s east end.”

RBS Failing Paisley While Posting Huge Profits

George outside the St Mirren Street branch

George outside the St Mirren Street branch

News that the Royal Bank of Scotland has almost doubled its pre-tax profits for the three months to the end of March 2014 compared with the same period last year will be of no conciliation to its Paisley customers who are about to lose their second branch in just over a year.  Plans are still underway to close the St Mirren Street branch on 7th May, just over a year after closing the East End branch on Glasgow Road.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said, “I have made strong representations on behalf of my constituents before the closures of both the East End branch and St Mirren Brae branch, however RBS have ploughed ahead with their closure plans, without even the decency to fully answer the numerous concerns I have raised.  Finding out today that they have almost doubled their pre-tax profits in relation to the same period last year really sticks in my throat.’

‘In the email I received today from RBS CEO Ross McEwan, he makes reference to ‘Building a customer-centric bank’ and ‘I am working hard to build RBS into a truly customer focused organisation’.  What could be less customer focused than reducing your customers ability to talk face to face with a member of staff. I’m sure most of us prefer speaking to people charged with taking care of our money in person, many of my elderly constituents have always dealt with the bank in this way.

‘Further, people not familiar with modern technology, like banking on an app over your smartphone are being heavily penalised here, while RBS are making massive profits.  I have written again to Mr McEwan to inform him of how much I feel he has let down his customers in Paisley and strongly urged him to use some of his massive profits to retain the St Mirren Street branch.”

George Voices Disappointment over RBS Closure Decision

George outside the RBS town centre branch

George outside the RBS town centre branch

Paisley’s MSP George Adam has today voiced his extreme disappointment at the decision by the Royal Bank of Scotland to close its town centre branch. This comes on the back of the closure of its Glasgow Road branch just over a year ago.

Speaking on the announcement, George said, “I am completely disillusioned with this bank, a bank that we still have an 81% stake in as tax payers. I received an email informing me of the decision without any mention of the staff who will be affected by the closure and the customers who will lose their local branch. I was given information about a drop in the number of people using RBS branches UK wide, but nothing about our town centre branch.

‘I regularly walk passed the branch and in all honesty, it still seems as busy as ever, especially after the closure on Glasgow Road. I know from hearing from many of my constituents how they do not always find it easy to use online and mobile services for banking and still very much value banking at their local branch. I believe this decision shows a total disregard for loyal RBS customers in Paisley. With easy access from the bus stops at the Cross and Causeyside Street, the bank is in a great location, especially for people who struggle with long walks.

‘I have written to RBS asking for a serious reconsideration to be given to this closure decision and for much more information on the reasons behind their decision to target a second Paisley branch in such quick succession. “