Ellon bank at risk of closure

The Ellon RBS branch
The Ellon RBS branch

The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that its Ellon branch could close in June next year.

The Ellon branch, located on Bridge Street, is at threat as well as those in Bridge of Don, Dyce and Turriff.

An RBS spokesperson said: “More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile. Since 2012 the number of customers using our branches in Scotland has fallen by 44 per cent.

“Only one per cent of our customers in Scotland now use a branch regularly while the number of regular mobile users has increased by 39 per cent since 2015.

“We expect these closures to result in around 158 redundancies.

“We realise this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected. We will ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to an absolute minimum.”

Colin Clark, Scottish Conservative MP for Gordon, said: “It is very concerning to hear that the Ellon branch of Royal Bank of Scotland is under threat of closure.

“This may be regarded as a sign of the times given the huge increase in online and mobile banking, but there will be many people in the Ellon area who still want that face-to-face contact.

“There is also the issue of job losses for those who are working at the branch in Ellon, with relocation seeming unlikely with other nearby branches also earmarked to shut.

“I will be contacting the bank to ask what proposals they have for ensuring that customers still have access to banking services, whether that is through the Post Office or mobile banking. There must also be full consultation with staff on the future of their jobs and support offered prior to any decision being taken to close the branch.”

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin added: “Access in rural areas to banking services are a lifeline, particularly for the older generation.
“It must be ensured that residents, particularly from an older generation, are not disadvantaged by the closures and that they will still have access to face-to-face contact from banking staff.

“I have been assured that with the creation of the community bankers that people will still have face-to-face contact.

“Those not online will still be able to access the bank’s services through the Post Office.

“I would encourage those who have access to branches that remain open like New Deer, which is the town’s only bank, to support them.”

Ellon & District councillor Richard Thomson said: “This is very disappointing news and my thoughts are with the loyal staff members who will be affected by this decision.

“While its true that many routine transactions can take place by phone or on the internet, that’s no use for the many businesses and individuals who still need to handle cash and for whom having a local bank counter is a necessity.

“Closing local branches might seem like an easy way to strip out costs. However, other banks have found out the hard way that customer loyalty is difficult to gain and easily lost - I hope that RBS will reconsider and not repeat the mistakes that others have made before them.”

Fellow councillor Gillian Owen added: “What concerns me is the effect on those residents particularly the elderly who may prefer the personal approach.
“Local businesses will suffer, there need to bank receipts and getting change will be limited.

“In Ellon there are still a number of other banks and I as a customer of RBS will move my account to one of the other local banks.

“I feel for all the staff to have this horrid news announced at this time of the year, and it will have an impact on their wellbeing the uncertainty is terrible.”