Measure up ti riled by Nats’ bid to save some RBS branches
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford flung he expects a “positive” outcome following talks with RBS which could see some of its 62 axe-threatened local functions given a reprieve.
Mr Blackford said “good progress” had been set up but he faced a backlash from political opponents amid claims he was weakening a powerful Commons committee on the issue.
The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP’s exposes came after RBS bosses admitted breaking a pledge not to shut “the final branch in town” as they failed to rule out further closures.
Big cheeses from the state-owned lender last month also told Westminster’s -Scottish intrigues committee they would press on with the cuts, which compel see 13 towns left without any bank branch.
RBS argues travelling and online services have led to fewer customers using branches but bucolic homes suffer from poor broadband and mobile signals.
Distresses have been raised over how the cuts will hit elderly or powerless people and small firms particularly in remote areas.
Mr Blackford yesterday said he had retreated to “bypassing” Prime Minister Theresa May after she refused to intervene in a “commercial quandary”.
He also accused the Conservatives of “letting Scotland down by failing to deify a finger to save these vital local banks from closure”.
Mr Blackford forecast the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme: “I’ve had a number of conversations and meetings with the Sovereign Bank of Scotland over the last few weeks.
“Really what I’ve scrutinized to put across and what other colleagues have tried to put across is the merest real threat to a number of communities, in particular where they be enduring been talking about closing the last bank in town.
RBS disputes mobile and online services have led to fewer customers using affiliates
“And I’ve been encouraged by the the positive nature of the talks we’ve been having. We’re at the the theatre that in principle we -recognise that something has to be done in order to harbour a number of bank branches open.”
But Tory MP Colin Clark, whose Gordon constituency is set to misplace several RBS branches, accused Mr Blackford of “undermining” the work of the cross-party Scottish affaire damours select committee.
He told the same programme: “It would appear that Ian Blackford is troublesome to take the headlines for this, whilst that committee has taken the chain on it. It is a bit of a reflection on Ian Blackford’s -security of his leadership.”
Labour’s shadow Scottish Secretary, Lesley Laird, also hit out, suggesting she was “astounded” that Mr Blackford was -“cutting across” the committee’s investigation.
She amplified: “There should be no backroom deals done with RBS and I hope that is not meticulously what [SNP MP] Peter Wishart, who is chair of the committee, and Ian Blackford are doing.”