Councillor slams NatWest response over Dundee bank closure – “pathetic excuses”

5 May 2024

Dundee Strathmartine Ward councillor Daniel Coleman has today slammed NatWest bosses for what he called ‘a thoroughly inadequate response’ to his call for the banking group to reconsider its decision to close the Dundee Kingsway Circus branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland from October of this year.

Councillor Coleman had written to Paul Thwaite, Chief Executive of the NatWest Group who own RBS, as follows :

“I am extremely concerned by the proposal to close this well-used branch is proposed for closure. I have been inundated by complaints from customers really concerned about the proposal. It will have a really detrimental impact on access to banking in the local area, particularly for the digitally excluded and those who are less mobile and cannot travel longer distances to access face to face RBS banking. There is also a really negative effect on local businesses who are RBS customers.”

“Given the level of public concern, I would formally ask that this matter is considered further by the NatWest Group plc Board before the proposed closure date in November 2024. I would also ask that the Board consider keeping the branch open for a further 12 months to measure total customer footfall.”

In response, the NatWest Group Executive Response Team said :

“It is always a very difficult decision when we close a branch. I understand that the closure of the Royal Bank of Scotland Kingsway branch in Dundee has come as a disappointment to many people, and I appreciate your concern as to how this will impact customers in your area.”

“Branches continue to remain important to us and we know that it is also important for customers to have a range of service options. However, the increased change in customer behaviour to digital banking means that our existing branch network is no longer fit for purpose." 

“We aim to create a more sustainable network, meaning we are providing a smaller number of better branches in locations that are more accessible to a wider range of customers, and that have better technology and facilities. As well as investing in other services such as telephone banking, to ensure our customers can always reach us, we are investing to maintain our mobile branch network which serves over 300 communities in Scotland. As such, I’m afraid this will not be a decision that we will be revisiting.”

Councillor Coleman said:

 “I am hugely disappointed by the way NatWest has simply batted away concerns from elected representatives, its own customers and the local community.  It is just pathetic excuses from the bank.”

“What I requested in terms of a rethink given 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 – in particular the residents of Downfield, Kirkton, Ardler and St Mary’s.”

All Dundee City Councillors will be asked to support opposition to the closure at the forthcoming City Governance Committee of Dundee City Council meeting on Monday 13th May.   

Councillor Coleman added :

“The Royal Bank is the City Council’s own bank and the Liberal Democrat Group has repeatedly made the point that the council should help the campaign to save local bank branches.”   

“The council’s revenue budget for 2023/24 is a whopping £462 million so the bank is a key customer of RBS. I hope all Dundee City Councillors irrespective of party will support my call to oppose this bank closure. The bank has shown no commitment to its customers in the north of the city and councillors must speak with one voice on this.”

Cllr Coleman added that many residents have asked how they can help his campaign to save the RBS Kingsway Circus branch and he has encouraged customers to contact the bank at to make their views known.



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