RBS CEO issued ‘final’ request by Commons committee

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan

The UK government’s Scottish Affairs Committee has written to RBS CEO Ross McEwan “with a final request to set a date to appear before the committee.”

The committee said in a statement it has raised a number of questions that remain unanswered in relation to plans to close 62 RBS branches in Scotland and the subsequent announcement of a partial reprieve for 10 branches.

The committee has previously heard from RBS Personal Banking executives Les Matheson and Jane Howard, but it said it has requested that McEwan appear to provide more detail on a number of points including:

  • The reasons why RBS took the decision to delay the closures of some bank branches previously due to shut in May, and why this opportunity was not extended to other branches.
  • How the performance of branches that have been granted a six-month extension to prove their viability will be judged, and what support these branches will be provided during this period.
  • The details of the conversations that RBS had with the UK and Scottish governments before and after making the decision to close 62 branches in Scotland.
  • How RBS would respond to a request from the UK government, as majority shareholder, to reconsider its closure programme.

The letter requests that McEwan provides dates when he would be able to provide evidence in person before the committee.

Committee chair, Pete Wishart MP, commented: “RBS is a company that is still owned by the taxpayer and we still have many questions about the decision making process that will lead to so many communities in Scotland being left without vital banking services.

“We also want more details on the branches that have been given a reprieve – on what basis will they be judged viable in the long term and why wasn’t this opportunity afforded to all affected branches.”