Tory Govt must intervene in publicly owned RBS after latest claims

MSP Joan McAlpine has called for the Tory government to urgently intervene in taxpayer-owned RBS after it emerged that its chiefs let down communities by telling a Westminster committee that they do not have targets for getting customers to start using digital banking services – with leaked documents revealing this morning that the targets do exist.

The news is the latest in a long list of problems for the majority taxpayer-owned bank – which the Tory government has consistently refused to intervene on in order to support customers and communities. The bank has already come under fire for a round of damaging local branch closures, as well as secretly cutting the amount of time communities have to access mobile banks, with no action from the Tory government, despite RBS remaining 73% owned by taxpayers.

Commenting, south Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine said:

“This is yet a very troubling revelation which RBS chiefs have to answer to – and it’s time the Tory government got a grip of this taxpayer-owned bank.

“The bank is 73% owned by the taxpayers – it is the UK government’s responsibility to sort this mess out. They can’t just stand idly by and let local services be slashed.

“Just last week they told the Westminster Scottish Affairs committee that the digital banking targets didn’t exist – yet now a leaked document reveals that they do.


RBS wrote to me, and other elected members to tell us how well they are doing, after making pre-tax profits of £1.2 billion in the first three months of 2018. This begs the question why RBS is so desperate for the £9.5 million savings they will make through the branch closures, if they are making those kind of profits.


“Perhaps these latest revelations shed some further light on why RBS is so determined to press ahead with the community vandalism of closing rural branches in Dumfries and Galloway.

“RBS are letting down communities across Scotland.

“It’s high time the Tory government stepped in to save local banking services – their inaction to date has been appalling and a complete dereliction of their duties.”

‘Leaked documents show RBS bosses DO have targets to push customers towards online banking’:

During the evidence session last Tuesday, when asked about whether targets existed for getting customers onto digital banking services, Jane Howard, Managing Director of Personal Banking at RBS, said: “We talked about this earlier when we said we do not have targets and we removed incentives.” 

Full transcript of the Select Committee meeting available at: