Campaign to keep Ellon RBS open

Local councillors Anouk Kloppert and Richard Thomson were joined by colleagues from across Aberdeenshire
Local councillors Anouk Kloppert and Richard Thomson were joined by colleagues from across Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire councillors were out in Ellon on Saturday, as part of ongoing efforts by campaigners to force a rethink by RBS on their plans to close local bank branches across the region.

Local councillors Anouk Kloppert and Richard Thomson gathered signatures for a petition and were joined by colleagues from across Aberdeenshire as the campaign made a return to the RBS Ellon branch on Bridge Street.

The Ellon branch is scheduled for closure later this year.

The bitterly cold weather did not cool the enthusiasm of locals to sign the petition.

Some said that they feel that the closure will have a profound effect on their personal banking arrangements.

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Kloppert said that the bank had not fully appreciated that some customers had invested a life time of personal banking business to the RBS.

“I think that the bank has not been at all customer-focused in their decision to close the branch in Ellon”, she said.

“A closure would mean that business customers – especially cash handling businesses - will have to overhaul their banking arrangements, perhaps at considerable extra cost.”

Cllr Thomson added: “Closing banks has a big impact on our town centres, not just by creating empty properties and cutting jobs, but also by making it harder for the public to access banking services in a way convenient to them.

“This round of closures will have a negative effect on the local economy.

“In Ellon, the big concern must be that where senior RBS management leads other banks with a presence in the town might try to follow.

“If we don’t show that our banks having a high street presence matter to us, then we’re just giving a green light for further closures in future.

“The bread and butter of banking is in serving the needs of personal and business customers alike. I hope that RBS can be helped to realise this before they retreat any further from that ethos.”

The petition will be presented to the RBS AGM in Edinburgh on Thursday, May 11.