THE ROLE OF BANKS AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE
I was delighted to sum up in this debate today for the SNP.
The branch closure programme recently announced by RBS which is 73% owned by the taxpayer is simply unacceptable.
Banks have a responsibility to the communities they serve and the taxpayers who bailed this bank out after its mismanagement and who are still the majority shareholders.
If these closures go ahead, in North Ayrshire the number of towns with no bank at all will rise from five to seven and there is a real sense of anger and betrayal as our banks stampede out of our towns at an alarming rate.
This is completely unacceptable and hits the vulnerable and businesses hard.
The UK Government retains all legislative and regulatory powers in respect of financial services and therefore has the authority to call a halt to these closures whilst banks, stakeholders and the UK and Scottish Governments consider how best to take account of the obligation to banking customers and our communities.
The time has come for the UK Government to establish and enforce a guaranteed minimum level of service provision for essential banking services, recognising the importance of continued access to banking for our communities.