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Royal Bank of Scotland announces Johnston Carmichael as independent reviewer

Johnston Carmichael, Scotland’s largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, has been appointed by Royal Bank of Scotland to carry out an independent review into ten branches earmarked for closure.

Appointed for their in-depth understanding of Scottish and specifically rural businesses, Johnston Carmichael will meet with local customers, local representatives, employees and stakeholders in all ten communities to understand the impact of each individual closure.

Johnston Carmichael has independently developed the scope of work to ensure the review is independent and will consider issues relevant to the ten branches under review. This will include:

• Examining the suitability of alternative banking options in each respective community.

• Taking into account the data used by Royal Bank of Scotland since 2014 to take the decision to close the ten branches.

• Examining whether changes in branch use and local circumstances since the announcement of the closures.

• Feedback from local customers, local representatives, employees and stakeholders.

At the end of the review period (September), Johnston Carmichael will provide the Royal Bank of Scotland with a recommendation either to keep open or close each of the ten branches. The Royal Bank of Scotland will implement in full the recommendations.

Commenting on the appointment of Johnston Carmichael, Les Matheson, CEO of Personal & Business Banking for Royal Bank of Scotland said:

“The way people do their banking is changing rapidly and the Royal Bank of Scotland needs to react to that change but we also realise that we must manage the change carefully. We listened to customers, colleagues and elected representatives of all stakeholders and as a result we have asked Johnston Carmichael to carry out an independent review of ten specific branches which are nearly all last banks in town and more than nine miles from the nearest Royal Bank of Scotland branch. Johnston Carmichael is perfectly suited to undertake this independent review because of their history, knowledge and understanding of rural Scottish communities and businesses. I am confident that they will undertake a thorough review of these ten branches and whatever their recommendation, The Royal Bank will accept it in full.”

Commenting on their appointment as independent reviewers of the ten branches, CEO of Johnston Carmichael, Sandy Manson said:

“Johnston Carmichael acts for many businesses and individuals throughout Scotland. We therefore believe we are best placed to advise the Royal Bank of Scotland on both the needs of bank customers in these communities and, based on a number of criteria, to assess the viability of each branch and make informed and objective recommendations about whether each branch should remain open or not.”

Johnston Carmichael can be contacted via email at: RBSbranchreview@jcca.co.uk, or alternatively the postal address is: RBS Branch Review Team, Johnston Carmichael LLP, 29 Albyn Place, Aberdeen AB10 1YL.


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