I’m really disappointed that the Royal Bank of Scotland has decided to close its branch in Fleetwood.
It’s clear this trend is damaging high streets up and down the country and the government should be acting to stop this from happening.
As highlighted by the Federation of Small Businesses, small business owners hugely value bank branch access – especially when it comes to depositing and withdrawing cash and discussing finance options. Demand for new finance among small firms is already low, hampering their expansion and wider economic growth.
I’m committed to re-generating and re-energising Fleetwood’s retail environment but this news is a deep blow. Bank closures hit local communities and jobs and I hope RBS will give careful consideration to protecting both.
This Government has presided over 2,000 branch closures since 2015 and now we are set to lose another two branches a day throughout 2018.
Under a Labour government, there would be mandatory consultation around the closure of bank branches which includes the regulator. We have a duty to ensure there is basic banking infrastructure for all who need it.
I’ve written to Ross McEwan, the Chief Executive Officer of the RBS expressing my concern and urging the company to reconsider its decision. I’ll update you when I get a response.