Campaign launched to save Wigan branch of RBS

The RBS in Standish
The RBS in Standish

Customers have voiced despair and anger at the news that their Wigan community is set to lose its last bank.

And account-holders with the Royal Bank of Scotland in High Street, Standish – set to close in the new year along with five others in the Wigan borough – say their complaints have been met only by “meaningless platitudes” in return.

Standish Labour Party is launching a campaign to fight to make bosses reconsider the controversial decision which, if it went ahead, would mean the nearest RBS branch was six miles away in Wigan town centre.

Party activist Debbie Parkinson points out that the township has a significantly older population who will not be interested or confident in attempting digital banking; neither will many have the necessary hardware.

She says the High Street branch in High Street remains an important part of the social life of the community.

She said: “The closure announcement of the RBS branch is really, really disappointing and I have received lots of complaints about it.

“It disadvantages those who don’t want or cannot access online banking, the elderly and disabled who are unable to catch buses or get into the town centre.

“This is the last bank in Standish and my own bank Lloyds closed some time ago making it difficult for paying in or, getting statements.

“Staff are losing jobs and businesses are unable to pay in their takings each day.

“Those wanting to withdraw larger amounts will have to go into town, resulting in having to carry money on public transport, which is unsafe.”

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy added: “There was no consultation with the local community and the decision has understandably caused anger.

“Having a local bank matters, even in the digital age. More than 30 per cent of adults do not bank online.

“Having a nearby ATM or a place where local businesses can deposit cash safely still matters to most of us.

“Some of us simply value dealing with a real person.

“RBS say they are only closing branches which are near those of their sister bank, NatWest, but they don’t take into consideration poor local transport or an ageing population for whom travel is not straightforward.

“They don’t think about the effect that the predatory payday loan shop that takes their place might have.”

RBS will also disappear from Pemberton, Hindley, Parbold, Leigh, Atherton and Hindley, it was announced earlier this month.