Mobile bank provision a ‘slap in the face’ for Ellon

The Ellon Royal Bank of Scotland branch will close in June
The Ellon Royal Bank of Scotland branch will close in June

An Ellon & District councillor has described plans by the Royal Bank of Scotland to serve Ellon just one morning each week with a mobile bank as a ‘slap in the face’.

The plans, which come into effect from Monday, May 14, will see Ellon being served by the Inverurie-based mobile bank on Friday mornings only, between 10.15am and 11am at the town’s Park and Ride site.

Cllr Richard Thomson said: “It’s bad enough that RBS is looking to close the Ellon branch.

“However, if RBS managers think sending a mobile bank once a week to the outskirts of town for just three quarters of an hour is sufficient to serve their customers in Ellon and the surrounding area they are sorely mistaken.

“Having a physical branch is vitally important for cash handling customers as well as for people to be able to meet bank staff to get advice.

“A mobile bank doesn’t provide either the privacy, the frequency or in many cases the accessibility that customers, particularly the elderly, need.

“Mobile banks used to be a way of providing a service in extremely rural areas such as the Highlands and Islands as an ‘outreach’ service where there was no prospect of ever being able to provide a viable branch.

“It speaks volumes that RBS appears to think that a growing town like Ellon now falls into the same category.”

Cllr Thomson added: “Frankly, it represents a real slap in the face for the town as well for as the principle of local, community banking.

“From collecting signatures for the petition against the bank closure it is very clear what the people of Ellon think about RBS and their closure plans.

“I hope that the bank can yet be made to come to its senses on this.”