A business leader has slammed Royal Bank of Scotland’s plans to offer a north-east town banking facilities for just 45 minutes a week.
The lender, which will close its branch in Turriff on June 26, has unveiled details of its mobile banking service.
A new timetable shows the van will visit the town’s Tesco supermarket car park between 2.40pm and 3.25pm every Wednesday afternoon.
But Marj Chalmers from Turriff Business Association (TBA) has said the new set-up is not “sufficient” and RBS will “lose” customers.
She said: “It is just such a short window and I don’t think it is sufficient for the customers. I think they will lose customers because they won’t cope.
“It is not a very suitable time because the bank has a lot of farming customers or maybe elderly customers and they are always on the go in the mornings when they do their shopping.
“What happens if there is a big queue? Do they stay or do they go because they’ve run out of time?
“I don’t think a van with that space of time would be able to offer the facilities that a bank could offer.”
Turriff councillor Alastair Forsyth, a former RBS employee, said once the High Street branch is permanently replaced it will mean a 97% reduction in service.
He has branded the move “swingeing” and that will “fall far short” of the expectations of RBS account holders in the town.
Mr Forsyth said: “The Turriff branch presently opens for 24 hours a week, six hours for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The replacement mobile service will offer the personal and business customers 45 minutes to conduct their business.
“This 23 hours and 15 minutes difference equates to a near 97% cut in service and can only be described swingeing and appears to fall far short of the expected service that Turriff RBS customers may have wanted. “
The mobile service in Turriff will be introduced on May 14 – just over a month before the town’s branch finally closes.
RBS have said this is to allow their customers a chance to familiarise themselves with the service.
A spokesman said: “We review our mobile branch network on a regular basis.
“The reason we going in earlier is to give customers a chance to get familiar with it and meet the mobile branch staff.”