Disability campaigners join RBS branch closure fight

Royal bank of scotland, kyle - web

The RBS branch in Kyle, which is marked for closure 

Campaigners say RBS plans do not consider the needs of vulnerable customers

Susan Smith's photo

7th May 2018 by Susan Smith 1 Comment

Rural and disability rights groups are challenging the legal right of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to close 62 branches across Scotland.

Scottish Rural Action and Disability Equality Scotland have written to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to ask whether the move is in breach of the Equalities Act 2010.

RBS announced plans to close 62 branches across the country in December last year. It has said it will replace some of the branches with short and infrequent visits from mobile banking vans, which the campaigners say are not appropriate for many people with physical disabilities.

Disability Equality Scotland polled its members on the closures and found lack of disabled access was a major concern. As a result, it has joined with Scottish Rural Action, which has been campaigning against the closures since the announcement was made.

Emma Cooper, chief executive of Scottish Rural Action said "We already knew that the plans from RBS hadn't taken fully into consideration the impacts on Scotland's rural communities, so it comes as no surprise to see that RBS has failed to consider some of its most vulnerable customers. It's clearer than ever that this has been a decision based purely on figures on a balance sheet and RBS is not prioritising its customers needs.

"There is still time for RBS to reconsider its planned closures - evidence of the impacts on rural communities and disabled customers is now piling up. The human impact far outweighs some figures on a balance sheet."

Morven Brooks, chief executive of Disability Equality Scotland, added: "Our members had very genuine concerns over the impact these proposed closures will have on disabled people; specifically the introduction of inaccessible and inconvenient mobile banks, which do not provide the service that disabled people are entitled to."

8th May 2018 by sheila

RBS don's seem to have thought this through. They have made the decision from afar without looking at the local circumstances. Providing mobile banks that are not accessible to elderly and disabled people is an added slap in the face. I have also heard that the time available at each location is strictly set and even if there is a queue of people remaining when the bank is due to leave they simply close the door and go. I hope that some of the decision makers come to the rural communities and see the difficulties their branch closures are having.