I rise to lodge a petition on behalf of those using the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Kyle of Lochalsh, one of the 62 RBS branches in Scotland earmarked for closure. The news came as a bombshell to people living in that part of my constituency. If it closes, its customers will be approximately one hour from the next nearest RBS branch, in Portree. When RBS talked about closing the branch, it said, as it did of many others, that very few people were using it regularly. It stated a figure of 51 people. I have discovered that the branch actually has 2,436 customers and deals with 25,000 transactions a year—very different from the picture RBS has been painting. We also know from information published in the Daily Record yesterday that RBS is actively encouraging customers to sign up for the mobile app to move them away from using the branches that we need to save. I am delighted that Kyle has been given a reprieve until the end of the year, but I am calling on RBS to support the branch sufficiently to make sure it stays open.
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 Lochalsh, 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.