May I remind the House that, in 2008, United Kingdom taxpayers supported the Royal Bank of Scotland with an injection of £45 billion? We own the Royal Bank of Scotland—we own 73% of it—and our communities have stood by this long-standing institution. What is the repayment from RBS? It wishes to close 62 branches in Scotland, 13 of which are the last bank in town, and that will have a devastating effect on local communities.
RBS tells us that only 27 customers regularly use the branch in Beauly in my constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber, yet I was able to determine that there are actually 3,439 customers and 29,000 transactions annually. The Royal Bank of Scotland has been at the very least economical with the truth.
My constituents are alarmed at this potential closure. This is one of the branches that was given a reprieve, and I call on the Royal Bank of Scotland to make sure that the people of Beauly can continue to use banking services for the long term.
The petition states:
The petition of residents of Ross, Skye & Lochaber,
Declares that the proposed closure of the following branches of the publicly-owned Royal Bank of Scotland in the areas of Kyle of Lochlash, Beauly & Mallaig, will have a detrimental effect on the local communities and the local economy.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges Her Majesty’s Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Royal Bank of Scotland to take into account the concerns of petitioners and take whatever steps they can to halt the planned closure of these branches.
And the petitioners remain, etc.