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1st Alliance (Ayrshire) Credit Union ready to step in if Royal Bank of Scotland branch closes

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24 Jan 18

Councillor Joe Cullinane and Councillor Scott Davidson this week gave support to the credit union after the decision of RBS to close their Kilwinning branch later this year. The credit union says they are preparing for people to move accounts to their establishment and recognise that the community will be anxious about the future of banking in the area.

1st Alliance has put in place plans to facilitate direct debit payments and they have already noted that five local businesses have opened accounts since the closure of the Clydesdale Bank in 2014.

Mary-Ann Robertson MBE, director of 1st Alliance (Ayrshire) Credit Union, said: “We have noted the concerns of the North Ayrshire communities with regard to the closure of local branches of The Royal Bank of Scotland.

“We have worked closely with the bank in recent years and are saddened at their decision. However as a community we need to prepare, and we recognise the efforts local people are putting in to highlight the difficulties it will cause. We have noticed on social media that there are many comments from people considering moving to our credit union. We believe the time has come for us to find a way to support people to do transactional banking on a widescale.

“To compensate this, we have invested in a debit card that allows people to easily access their money whether that be at an ATM, online, contactless or chip and pin, and there is an online app for our accounts. We already do bill payments, same day transfer of monies by secure website message, phone call or in the office and are in receipt of all benefit types and salaries for existing members.

“To date, this card does not have the facility of direct debits, we expect this to be in place by the second half of 2018.Your money has the same protection in the credit union as you would be afforded with any bank.”

Leader of North Ayrshire Council, Joe Cullinane, welcomed the statement. He said: “This is a really important commitment from 1st Alliance Credit Union to support those communities in North Ayrshire left behind by RBS and other high street banks.

“As council leader I will be facilitating discussions between 1st Alliance and North Ayrshire Council to support their efforts.”

SNP councillor Scott Davidson was very enthusiastic about the credit union’s move to allay residents’ fears this week but stated the fight is still on to prevent RBS leaving the town.

Councillor Davidson said: “I absolutely welcome the statement from 1st Alliance (Ayrshire) Credit Union regarding the closure of the RBS branch here in Kilwinning.

“Some of my family are members and whilst I am a member of Scot West Credit Union, I’m considering a move to 1st Alliance in light of their recent statement which highlights some of the benefits of being a member and the services they can also provide.

 “At this time I think it is of utmost importance that people in Kilwinning should continue to demand that RBS remains open and ensure that their dissatisfaction is recorded, whether it be signing the petition or writing to your MP or RBS themselves.”

Source – Scottish Daily Record

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