The Royal Bank of Scotland faced more criticism last night after a member of the public took a photograph of long queues for a mobile bank in Caithness.
Wick’s RBS branch closed on May 17 – and just a few weeks later, there are reports of dozens of people waiting to use the mobile bank that has replaced the building.
The van comes to the town for two hours on Monday and one on Friday.
And on Friday, customer Craig MacNeill took the picture above and said he could see 25 people waiting.
Mr McNeill, 31, a technical analyst with BT, said: “I personally visited to set up a direct debit. I got to the van door the lady asked why I was there and then took the direct debit form from me and said thank you.
“So realistically I waited about 25 minutes for 10 seconds of their time. It’s the more elderly I felt sorry for having to stand in that queue for such a long time, I’d hate to see them have to do it in the winter.”
The closures, and the aftermath, has triggered a public outcry across the Highlands with local MPs and councillors denouncing the move.
Councillor Mathew Reiss said: “This is people queuing in summer, a particularly good one at that, I wonder what it will be like for elderly people and mothers with children in January and February?”
Jamie Stone MP has long warned of the dangers of closing the branches said: “This situation was all too predictable.
“It gives me no pleasure to witness what occurred on Friday. The simple fact of the matter is a town the size of Wick needs a branch not a mobile bank.”
MP Ian Blackford said: “This situation is unacceptable, to which I am sure those who queued in Caithness will testify,” adding: “It gets more nonsensical every day.”
He said: “The RBS justify closing branches by saying that they aren’t necessary as most customers now do their banking on line, ignoring the fact that a huge number of people are unable, or simply do not want to do this.”
An RBS spokeswoman said: “Our customers have many different ways to bank with us.
“These mobile branch routes can be a lifeline for communities that have never had access to a bank; some are taking on new stops where, unfortunately, an existing branch will be closing.
“Our staff and Community Bankers will be on hand to demonstrate the services available through our mobile branches when the new routes start.
“We welcome feedback on how these services are running, and have already committed to reviewing these timetables on a monthly basis.”