Councillor rails against "ridiculous" suggestions by Royal Bank of Scotland over branch closure

4 Jun 2024

Dundee Strathmartine Ward Councillor Daniel Coleman says bank bosses have offered unworkable suggestions of banking alternatives for RBS customer should the Kingsway Circus Branch in the city close.

Dundee City Council Chief Executive Greg Colgan wrote to the Chief Executive of NatWest, RBS’s owners, making clear the council’s opposition to the branch closure. This followed Councillor Coleman bringing a motion to the council’s City Governance Committee and obtaining all-party support to oppose the closure of the well-used branch and to lobby the NatWest management to think again over the closure. It specifically requested that NatWest refers the proposed closure to the NatWest Group Board of Directors for further consideration given the level of customer opposition to the closure and the contraction in face-to-face RBS banking facilities in the city.

In reply, NatWest's Excecutive Case Manager Laura Parker claimed that alternatives to the branch include “customers can continue to use the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Dundee, Arbroath or St Andrews South Street. The mobile bank visits the Main Road at the Glamis Post Office on Thursdays between 11:50 and 12:20, the Spar Car Park in Meigle on Thursdays between 13:10 and 13:40.”

Councillor Coleman said:

“This bank seems to be totally out of touch with the situation in Dundee. The point I have been making is that the loss of the RBS Kingsway Circus Branch will leave just one RBS branch in the City Centre and there will be no RBS branches at all in the north of the city. North of the Kingsway is simply being forgotten by RBS and thousands of customers in places like Downfield, St Mary’s, Ardler, Kirkton and surrounding communities will have no local RBS bank branch at all.

“Frankly, listing branches in St Andrews and Arbroath as suggested ‘alternatives’ to Strathmartine Road Dundee is ridiculous, as is the suggestion of mobile banks for half an hour once a week in Meigle and the village of Glamis in Angus.”  

“The response was written by a bank executive based in Birmingham with clearly no local knowledge of the Dundee area. NatWest is hollowing out its branch network and has forgotten that the bank is only in business today because the taxpayer bailed out the banks during the banking crisis.”

Councillor Coleman said the campaign to save the branch, scheduled for closure in October, would continue.

He added:

 “I have requested a rethink given that public concern and 12 month stay of execution over the closure was perfectly reasonable. This Royal Bank branch is a busy one and it serves a huge part of the Dundee population who live in the north of the city.The area north of the Kingsway has a huge population and to lose this key bank branch would be a real loss to the community.   

“The lack of consultation regarding this decision is little short of disgraceful. There is a sizeable elderly population who in particular rely on the branch - many simply don’t do things like online banking.”    

“I am very concerned indeed by the Royal Bank’s actions and the effect a closure would have on our local community and I will continue to campaign to save this bank branch.”


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