Scottish Affairs Committee launches inquiry into RBS closures

Senior figures at RBS have been called before Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee to explain their decision to close 62 branches across Scotland.

 

Last week, the bank announced the closures, which included 6 in the Scottish Borders.

Borders MP John Lamont, who is a member of the Scottish Affairs Committee welcomed the news and said RBS must do more to reduce the impact of these closures.

The Committee is also likely to ask for evidence from the UK Government and, if necessary from the Chief Executive of RBS, Ross McEwan.

John Lamont MP said: “There has been a huge amount of anger at the decision by RBS to close so many branches across Scotland. I very much support the Committee’s inquiry into this.

“As well as the huge impact on customers, I have concerns about the proposals to close ATMs and the suggestion that Post Offices will take on some banking services.

“My focus will be on putting pressure on RBS to look again at this decision, because it is not possible for the UK Government to intervene directly. Even though RBS is primarily owned by taxpayers, the way the rescue package was set up by the last Labour Government in 2008 means that taxpayers have no say in the way the bank is run.

“RBS should not be allowed to walk away from communities and I will be putting all my effort into making them understand the importance of local banks to rural communities.”

 

Ends

 

Notes to Editors

 

For more information:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/scottish-affairs-committee/news-parliament-2017/rbs-bank-closures-evidence-17-19/

On the Taxpayer’s stake in RBS:

The Government's shareholdings in RBS are managed on a commercial and arm's length basis by UK Financial Investment Ltd (UKFI). UKFI's overarching objective is to protect and create value for the taxpayer as shareholder, paying due regard to financial stability and competition.

As an engaged shareholder, UKFI works closely with RBS management to assure itself of the bank's approach to strategy and to hold management rigorously to account for performance. However, UKFI's role is to manage the investment, not to manage the bank and it therefore has no remit to influence commercial decisions by the bank. The bank retains its own independent board and management team to manage itself commercially without interference from shareholders.