RBS, Helping you make banking as straight forward as possible.

Malcolm Buchanan, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland has been speaking to us about what the bank is doing Royal Bank of Scotland is doing to make banking as straightforward and supportive as possible during these difficult times.

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'Scotland is experiencing one of the most challenging periods in its history. As a bank where many of our colleagues are neighbours, friends and even family to your readers and our customers, we want to make sure that we are doing all we can to help our communities and make banking as straightforward and as supportive as possible during these difficult times.

We are monitoring the impact of coronavirus across Dumfries and Galloway to ensure we can support everyone appropriately through this period of disruption. Whether young or old, a personal or a business customer, we are working with local authorities, governments, regulators and other banks to ensure we are doing everything that we can to support our communities and the local economy.

To help the public cope with these challenges, Royal Bank of Scotland customers over 70 and those in isolation can now access a new dedicated support line. This has been set up so we can help those most in need and is open from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week. Those who need it can call us on 0800 051 4177.

The current situation has made everyone fully appreciate the impact and pressure our NHS staff are experiencing. To help them help the most vulnerable in our society at this time, we have introduced an emergency customer care line for NHS and critical workers to help with emergency banking support such as lending assistance and lost and stolen cards. This line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be contacted on 0800 0466734.

We understand the challenges and the circumstances those affected by coronavirus might face and we want to be there to make sure they don’t fall into financial difficulty as a result. As such we want any customers who are affected to get in contact to allow us to understand their individual situation and to see what we can do to help them.

We want to help. Every single one of us is here to support you.

We’re doing everything we can to keep our services running for customers. Our branch network remains open but following relevant public health guidance, we have reviewed our opening hours and we’re prioritising core opening hours from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 1pm.  Our colleagues in branches are working incredibly hard in difficult circumstances and we’re encouraging customers not to visit their branch unless it's critical and if they do, practice safe social distancing.

This same guidance has forced us to make the difficult decision to pause our mobile fleet with immediate effect. But customers can continue to access their banking services through our other channels including digital, mobile, ATMs, video banker, telephony and Post Office – and we are proactively keeping customers aware of any changes that affect their local service through our website.

Local businesses lie at the heart of our community and many readers face the responsibility of looking after their company as well as their colleagues. To assist we have set aside a support fund of a £500m of working capital support. We’re able to offer emergency fee free loans and overdrafts to relieve some of the pressure and through our consultants and relationship managers help offer advice and facilitate the support channels being offered by the Government and the Bank of England.

This is a fast-changing situation and could potentially change quickly. Our colleagues across the bank are working together throughout this challenging period to offer the public a service which makes banking as straightforward as possible during a difficult period.

I want to reassure you that the bank is doing all it can to help customers, your readers and communities across Scotland. We will constantly review all the actions we are taking to make sure they are having the right impact.

We will also look for new ways of supporting our customers and will continue to work with a wide range of stakeholders, including governments and local authorities, to find solutions to the problems we are all facing and to plan for a positive and proactive future.'