Ruth George MP statement re RBS branch closures – Buxton & Chapel-en-le-Frith

Ruth George MP said: “I am very disappointed that the Royal Bank of Scotland have today announced that they are shutting both the their branches at Chapel from 24th January and at Buxton from 30th January 2019.  I have written to ask them to reconsider the decision to close Chapel where there is no local alternative bank in the town, and for the Nat West at Buxton to also open on Wednesdays so their customers have an alternative bank every weekday.

“I have requested a meeting with RBS to discuss their decision.  If you or someone you know will be affected, please let me know so I can raise it with the bank.

“Banks are closing all over the country, but we have so few left across most of High Peak that it is very important to try and retain the few services we have.”

The following is the full text of my letter to RBS:

Thank you for informing me of the decision to close both of the Royal Bank of Scotland branches in Chapel-en-le-Frith and Buxton, but I find the decision extremely disappointing, especially the lack of any mitigating measures put in place.

High Peak is a very rural area with little public transport between our market towns, and many older people who find it difficult to get about.  They rely on their local bank branch, and many have been using the branches at Chapel and Buxton for decades as very loyal customers.

I am therefore writing to request a meeting with the Royal Bank of Scotland to discuss the following mitigation measures:

  1. For Nat West in Buxton to be open on Wednesdays: the nearest possible branch of Nat West in Buxton is only open for limited hours of 10am to 4pm and not at all on Wednesdays, leaving the nearest option on Wednesdays for Chapel being Glossop, over 9 miles away and without any adequate public transport, and for Buxton at Bakewell or Macclesfield, both 12 miles away on very winding roads. This is not acceptable.
  2. Please reconsider the decision to close the Chapel-en-le-Frith branch which last year was reduced to only 18 opening hours a week and was then so crowded that it often took an hour to be served.

I am not surprised that the number of people using the branch dropped, and indeed your staff were telling customers that they had to use online banking.

Bearing this in mind, the fact that almost 3,000 people used the branch over the last 6 months during those 18 weekly hours of opening shows how much the branch is needed, and it is still busy during those hours.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Ruth George MP

Member of Parliament for High Peak