Residents and businesses in Burntisland have voiced their dismay at further cuts to banking facilities in the town.
The RBS has announced that from April 30 its mobile bank will cut the time it spends in the town from 40 minutes to 30 a week, due to a lack of demand for the service.
But the town’s Community Council says this is not surprising as the existence of the service had always been “a well kept secret.”
Alex MacDonald, chairman of the council, said: “Very few people knew of its existence. For example, I’m an RBS customer and didn’t receive any communication at all about the launch of the service. So it’s hardly surprising that it has been under-used.
“The Community Council moved our account away from RBS when the local branch was closed and I suspect that others may have done the same.”
Councillor Gordon Langlands said it was becoming more difficult for Burntisland residents to do their banking.
“With the recent closure of Aberdour and the Kirkcaldy High Street branch, it now means that people from Burntisland who want to do their banking in person now have to travel to St Clair Street in Kirkcaldy which, unless you have a car, is quite difficult to do.
“Most people have transferred over to the TSB which is now the only bank left in the town, or some are doing it via the Post Office which offers some services.
“If there are a few people wanting to use the mobile bank and it’s not a straightforward transaction, they could struggle to fit it in in just 30 minutes.”
The reduction of the Burntisland service is just one of five hours of cuts to mobile banking service in Fife which will also affect places such as Dalgety Bay, Anstruther, Leven and East Wemyss.
Janet Torley, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) area leader for the East of Scotland, said: “When RBS earmarked five of its Fife branches for closure last year, we were told that the impact would be cushioned by greater investment in smart ATMs and the mobile banking service.
“However, we now find that RBS plans to cut the availability of its mobile banks in Fife by more than five hours a week – making it harder for local businesses and consumers to access services.
“Towns such as Leven, Cowdenbeath, Kelty and Anstruther will bear the worst of the cuts.
“With RBS chief executive, Ross McEwen, set to give evidence to MPs next month, we need answers from him on how these cuts can be reconciled with their recent warm words on mobile banking.”
An RBS spokesman said: “In response to the changing ways our customers are banking we have reviewed the schedules of our mobile branches and added more stops; many of these covering areas where, unfortunately, an existing branch will be closing.
“This does also mean that in some communities we may have to spend less time, but we welcome feedback on how these services are running, and have already committed to reviewing these timetables on a monthly basis.”
New Scotland mobile routes can be found at here.