MP starts banks closure petition

Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley outside the Bonnyrigg RBS earmarked for closure.
Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley outside the Bonnyrigg RBS earmarked for closure.

Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley (Lab) has started a petition calling on RBS to reverse its decision to close its branches in Bonnyrigg and Penicuik.

The plans would leave Midlothian with only one RBS branch, in Dalkeith. The bank has said more customers accessing services online or with mobile devices is the reason for closing 62 branches in Scotland. The Bonnyrigg branch is due to close on May 24 while the Penicuik branch would shut on June 28.

Ms Rowley has also written to RBS chief executive Ross McEwan and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay MP, urging them to meet with her to discuss the closures.

She said: “The planned closure of both the Bonnyrigg and Penicuik branches will be a hammer blow to our high streets. With Christmas just around the corner it is devastating news for the staff working at these branches, who will now be fearing for their jobs.  

“Closing these branches will also have a negative impact on our high streets, businesses and RBS customers who will now be forced to travel to use the Dalkeith Branch. 

“After writing to both the chief executive of RBS and Steve Barclay MP, I decided to start a petition against the closure and I have been greatly encouraged by the number of people signing and sharing. 

“The British tax payers, including the people of Midlothian, bailed this bank out when it was in dire straits and I would urge the bank to remember that and to reverse their decision immediately.”

RBS said the number of branch customers in Scotland is down 44 per cent since 2012 with only one per cent using a branch regularly, while the number of mobile users is up 39 per cent since 2015.

Meanwhile, Bank of Scotland has refused to confirm or deny that it is to end teller counter services at its Bonnyrigg branch.

Such a move would leave the town without bank counter services, with the local RBS branch set to close next year. A Bank of Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are reviewing our plans for our Bonnyrigg branch and we will contact our customers when we are in a position to inform them about any changes.”

To sign the petition click here.