Finlay Carson has called on the Royal Bank of Scotland to reconsider the closure of their branch in Newton Stewart.
In a letter to the bank Mr Carson raised concerns over the impact these closures will have on local residents, many of whom are elderly and will have no viable alternative branch, with the closest being in Stranraer, over 24 miles away.
The letter comes following an announcement by RBS today that their Newton Stewart branch will close on the 9th October 2017.
Commenting, Finlay Carson MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Galloway and West Dumfries, said:
“I was troubled to learn of this closure, which will be a major blow for the local community of Newton Stewart. There is a large population of older aged residents in the area who find online banking challenging and will be most negatively impacted upon by the closure of this branch. Rural communities such as Newton Stewart are still struggling to access high quality broadband facilities which means online banking is not always a viable option.
“The fact that the nearest RBS branch will now be 24 miles away in Stranraer will make it extremely difficult for many customers to access a branch when required.
“This announcement will also be of great concern to the local businesses in the area who often require a wide range of services from bank branches that cannot be provided through the Post Office or over the telephone. It is important that every effort is taken to mitigate the effect on businesses, as this could potentially have a negative knock on effect to the local economy.
“Given the potential impact on local residents and businesses in Newton Stewart I would urge RBS to reconsider this planned branch closure.”