Two RBS branches to close

Royal Bank of Scotland
Royal Bank of Scotland

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it will close its Banchory and Westhill branches later this year.

The Banchory branch will close on September 28 and the Westhill branch will shut on October 3.

A spokesperson for Royal Bank of Scotland said: "The way people choose to bank with us has changed radically over the last few years.

"Between 2010 and 2015, mobile and online transactions have increased by over 400% and mobile transactions alone have increased by 1,350%.

"Since 2011 we have seen the number of transactions in the Banchory branch decline by 33% and Westhill transactions have declined by 39%.

"These customers are actively choosing to bank in different ways, with 67.8% of customers choosing to use our digital banking options."

The bank is communicating with its customers affected by the closure and proactively contacting vulnerable and regular branch customers.

The spokesperson added: "We have listened closely to feedback from local communities and have extended the time between announcing our decision and the branch closure to six months. This has been done in order to ensure our customers have time to consider the right banking options for them.

"We know that not all of our customers are comfortable and familiar with using online or mobile banking, so we have created a new specialist taskforce of Digital Experts who will be dedicated to supporting our customers with training and support with digital skills.

"We are following the Access to Banking protocol and we have made the decision after careful consideration of a wide range of factors, including regular branch usage and the alternative ways our customers can bank with us. We provide a range of alternative ways to bank, tailored to the needs of our customers and reflective of the way they live their lives."

Westhill and District councillor, Ron McKail, said: "Westhill residents will be devastated by this announcement to close the RBS bank.

"It will be difficult to understand the rationale for this decision, this is a very busy bank and well supported locally.

"From those using the bank for personal banking to the business community, the closure will cause much inconvenience. Particularly hard hit will be the elderly citizens who may not use internet banking and who`ll now face a particular challenge as they have to reorganise their financial affairs.

"The RBS decision to close the Westhill bank will be met by disappointment and anger.

"Many will share my view that this is the wrong decision for Westhill. I`m sure there will be appeals for RBS to reconsider this decision and keep the RBS bank at Westhill open."