The Royal Bank of Scotland’s decision to close bank branches and publication of its data are commercial decisions for the Royal Bank of Scotland. However, the impact on communities must be understood, considered and mitigated where possible.
The industry’s Access to Banking Standard, launched in May 2017, commits banks to ensure personal and business customers are better informed about branch closures and the reasons for them closing, along with the options they have locally to continue to access banking services, including specialist assistance for customers who need more help. The Access to Banking Standard is monitored and enforced by the independent Lending Standards Board.
I met RBS chief executive Les Matheson on 7 December to discuss their decision and I made clear the concerns that had been raised by MPs and communities about their plans.