FOLLOWING the exclusive story in last week’s Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald surrounding the closure of three local RBS branches, locals have been in contact to express their anger and disappointment at the decision. We look the view of three of the people who contacted us:


I am a church treasurer of a Saltcoats Church that banks with the Royal Bank of Scotland in Saltcoats. I would like to make the following points: I use the night safe facility weekly with the Sunday income - almost exclusively cash. This involves visiting the bank on Sunday and also during the week to collect the night safe wallet. My options are (according to the bank) to go to Irvine or Largs to lodge in night safe. The bank tells me Irvine is only six miles away and according to them should only take minutes. They obviously have not travelled from Saltcoats to Irvine, found a parking place and visited the Royal Bank. This would take a minimum of a 40 minutes round trip but more likely at least an hour. Alternatively use the post office to lodge the cash - clearly those that have made this decision are not aware of the post office queues and there is no night safe facility Or switch accounts to another bank. The only bank being the bank of Scotland as the other ‘banks’ in the town do not deal with large items of cash. Changing banks involves a great deal of time as the church is a charity and requires the registering of roughly five signatories (two signatories are required to withdraw money etc etc). This usually takes some months (I have been trying for the last seven months to register a change of signatories on another charity with presently no resolution) so it is not undertaken lightly, and certainly with no guarantee that the same will not happen to the last remaining commercial bank in the three towns, West Kilbride and Kilwinning. This means an area with a population of over 60,000 has only one commercial bank. But for how much longer?? I am aware that more and more are using the banks online facilities (I do so myself with my own accounts) but the statement that only 130 people use the RBS in Saltcoats on a weekly basis is questionable. I am often in twice a week and there is usually a queue of at least six people. My main concern however is having the responsibility of cash for longer periods of time.


I was deeply shocked and saddened to read in the Herald that RBS will be closing Saltcoats, Kilwinning and Kilbirnie branches next year. I’ve had an account with them for 30 years and many people will have banked with them for longer. The bank is a major part of the town’s infrastructure and history. It plays a vital role in the community. To lose it will be a devastating blow not just to the customers and employees but to the community as a whole. It is a sad day for humanity when we turn our backs on the very thing that makes us human - face to face contact with other people. This will breed loneliness for the elderly and it will isolate anyone with mobility issues. Not everyone wants digital banking - change is being forced on people without giving them choice. The Herald article noted the bank as saying “we are communicating with our customers affected by the closure” - the bank have communicated nothing to anyone. This is appalling and shows an incredible lack of empathy to their loyal customers. It is extremely disappointing.


I am appalled at RBS. There is just a cashline in West Kilbride since they moved out and that is more out of order than not. We moved from West Kilbride to Saltcoats and anytime we have been it has been really busy. A lot of pensioners don’t use computers and it will take a round trip of 14 miles to pay a bill. It’s disgusting. We were brought up with banks and we are being ignored.