Three more Moray bank branches to close

RBS Keith - one of three to close (pic: local data company)
RBS Keith – one of three to close (pic: local data company)

ANOTHER THREE BANK branches in Moray are to be axed as part of a Royal Bank of Scotland programme of closures throughout the country.

The move follows recent announcements by the Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank on local branch closures in Burghead and Forres.

Now RBS branches in Lossiemouth, Keith and Dufftown are to close down, with the bank insisting that the number of transactions they are dealing with has fallen by over a third in recent years.

Royal Bank officials have reasoned that the increase in customers using online banking is the cause of the fall in counter use – the same reason cited by the Clydesdale Bank in their announcement earlier this month that they would be closing their Forres branch.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Bank of Scotland said that customers were “increasingly using alternative ways to bank”, adding: “As a result branch transactions have declined by around 36% since 2010 – while online and mobile bank transactions have increased by 300%.”

The bank says they have reached an agreement with local post offices close to the affected branches that would allow customers to check their balance as well as deposit or withdraw funds.

The spokeswoman added: “We are introducing a mobile branch service to these communities and we will be engaging with our customers and the local communities to understand the best day and time for the mobile branch to visit.”

Dates for the closure of local branches have already been set with the Lossiemouth branch closing on September 1, Keith the following day and Dufftown due to cease business on September 15.

The deputy Scottish secretary of the Unite union, who represent the bulk of bank workers, said that the decision “made a mockery” of the RBS motto ‘making everyday banking easy’.

Mary Alexander added: “The abandonment of community banking by the RBS shows that people are increasingly a distant second place to the pursuit of profit in our financial sector.”