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Customers urged to have their say on closure-threatened RBS branches

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Customers of closure-threatened RBS branches in rural communities will have the chance to help save their banks from next month.

Independent auditors Johnston Carmichael want to hear the views of local residents in 10 locations before ruling on whether each branch closure should go ahead.

The 10 branches – which include Beauly, Castlebay, Inveraray, Kyle of Lochalsh and Tongue – were granted a temporary reprieve earlier this year by RBS amid uproar at plans to shut them down alongside 52 others across Scotland.

The accountancy firm has been appointed by the bank to examine the suitability of alternative banking options in each community, assess the data used by RBS to justify the closures and study any changes in use of branches since the closure announcement.

Its recommendations, which RBS has pledged to implement in full, are expected to be made in September.

As part of the study, it has now been announced that the auditors will visit Castlebay on Barra on August 6, Inveraray on August 8, Kyle of Lochalsh the next day, Beauly on August 10, and Tongue on August 14.

Unveiling the timetable, Johnston Carmichael said: “As part of the review we would like to encourage anyone affected by the proposed closures to get in touch with their views on the services offered by each branch, how that would change if they were closed and how that would affect you.

“We will listen carefully to anyone who contacts us and will take your views into account as part of our work.

“We will meet with customers of these 10 branches, employees and any stakeholders directly affected by these proposed closures.

The deadline for submission of views is 5pm on Tuesday August 14.

The auditors added: “The review process will be independent and at the end of the review period in September 2018, Johnston Carmichael will provide the Royal Bank of Scotland with a recommendation either to keep open or close each of the 10 branches.

“The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised us that it will implement our recommendations in full.”

Customers wishing to take part in the review can attend the specific branch during its normal opening times on the day of the visit, although they are strongly advised to book an appointment in advance to avoid extended waiting times.

To book an appointment, call 01224 259 353 between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Customers can also e-mail rbsbranchreview@jcca.co.uk or write to The RBS Review Team, Johnston Carmichael LLP, 29 Albyn Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1YL.

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