Why no access to ATM in Arrochar, asks MSP Jackie Baillie
Jackie Baillie campaigning on banking issues in Alexandria and Arrochar.
The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee meeting in the Scottish Parliament focused on the banking sector and local MSP Jackie Baillie took the opportunity to highlight the lack of access to a free ATM in Arrochar with the Managing Director of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Simon Watson, Managing Director of Personal Banking, represented the Royal Bank of Scotland told the committee that when the bank shut branches, they ensured that they did not leave customers with nothing.
Jackie raised the plight of customers in Arrochar, where RBS closed their branch some time ago leaving local people without access to direct banking facilities and without access to a free-to-use ATM machine. Local people are concerned that the lack of access to an ATM is not helpful to the large number of tourists who visit and that they want to encourage to spend money in the area. Mr Watson offered to visit the village and discuss the issue with residents.
Jackie said: “I have been pursuing the lack of a free ATM machine in Arrochar for a number of weeks. Having originally received a response from the bank that was less than helpful, I took the opportunity to raise the issue directly with the Managing Director of Personal Banking.
“I am delighted that he has agreed to visit Arrochar with me to discuss the issue with my constituents. It is incredibly important that visitors to Arrochar can access free cash as the local economy relies on tourism, not to mention the difficulty that villagers have accessing their own money.”
Joan Queen, owner of Braeside Stores, Arrochar, said: “My partner and I have been trying to improve the village of Arrochar for the last twelve years for locals and for visitors. The village was devastated by the closure of the Royal Bank of Scotland branch. We have made contact with every banking institution to try and get a free to use ATM machine installed in the village and are more than happy for the ATM to be installed on the outside of the shop as we are right in the centre of the village on the main road. So far, every single one has refused.
“Arrochar is located on a main route through Scotland’s west coast and we rely on the visitor economy, but how can visitors be expected to spend money in the village if they cannot access their money for free. There is no other free ATM machine within a nine-mile radius.”