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Bank Closures and Mobile Banking Could Mean Financial Exclusion for Disabled

Photo: Gordon Macdonald at mobile bank, Currie Library.

A recent question by Gordon Macdonald MSP, on Wednesday 16 May, into banking provision by RBS has revealed that the Scottish Government believes the proposals to have “serious implications for disabled people”.

The Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities confirmed that she has raised the matter with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to consider whether these implications breach the Equalities Act 2010, to ensure equality of access for people with disabilities.

Responding to questions raised by Gordon Macdonald, the Scottish Government minister, Angela Constance went on to say that the apparent inaccessibility of the mobile banking alternative was unacceptable and that this could mean that people with mobility issues “could, in effect, be excluded from conducting their financial affairs”.

Earlier this month, EHRC confirmed that it had already raised the issue with RBS and that it was high on their agenda. Other campaigners who have backed these efforts include Disability Equality Scotland (DES) and Scottish Rural Action.

Commenting SNP MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, Gordon Macdonald, said:

“It’s reassuring that the Scottish Government share my concerns that the mobile banks which have been introduced in areas like my own constituency, Edinburgh Pentlands, do not provide disability access.

“RBS have a duty to ensure that people with mobility issues can access the same services, as those fully abled - this is, quite frankly, unacceptable and must be challenged.

“They have already taken away the day to day services, which has particularly hit the most vulnerable customers. And now, not only are these replacement mobile schemes a poor substitute for a real branch network, they also appear to be make it impossible for those services to be used by people with mobility difficulties.”

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