Isles MP blasts RBS chief for shunning Barra customers

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Western Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil is calling on Ross McEwan, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), to come out of hiding and face customers in Barra.

RBS has responded to Mr MacNeil’s letter stating that it would not be revisiting its decision to close the Castlebay branch in June 2018.

Mr MacNeil spoke at a Westminster Hall debate on the role of banks and their responsibility to the communities they serve.

Mr MacNeil said: ‘Instead of coming to Barra to meet customers, Ross McEwan sent a representative who dodged in and out of the island on Friday January 5.

‘RBS says it has considered the matter carefully but it will not be revisiting its decision yet it has not consulted its customers or carried out an economic impact assessment of the decision to close the Castlebay branch.

‘RBS should drop Scotland from its name, such is the contempt it is showing our country.

‘An eye-watering £16 million was paid in bonuses to RBS senior executives, which would pay the wages of the staff at the Castlebay branch for about 266 years. That is the level of greed we are seeing here and not just greed but cowardice and irresponsibility.

‘Ross McEwan and RBS need to have the courage of their convictions and meet with islanders.

‘At the debate, I asked John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, if consent was sought. Who is in charge?  Is the bank owned by the government or do the bankers own the government? The UK government cannot play Pontius Pilate with this issue.’