Rutherglen and Hamilton West Labour and Co-operative MP Tom Greatrex spoke in Parliament today, calling on banks in Scotland to abandon the introduction of banking charges for not-for-profit credit unions.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Clydesdale Bank are currently in the process of ending free banking for credit unions. There are more than 100 credit unions in Scotland, with a membership of more than 250,000. The Co-operative Bank continues to provide free banking for credit unions.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Tom highlighted concerns about the impact this decision will have on some of the most financially vulnerable people in communities across Scotland.

Tom Greatrex MP said:

“Credit unions already face enormous pressures on their limited resources. The decision to impose bank charges is a further blow that will severely restrict the important service credit unions provide.

“At a time when executives of RBS continue to pay themselves millions in bonuses, people will rightly question the fairness of these charges.

“Credit unions provide much needed support to some of the most financially vulnerable people across the country. At a time of high unemployment and the increased cost of living, credit unions are often a lifeline. Given that the last of the Big Six energy companies today announced an increase in their energy prices, the support of credit unions is more important than ever.

“The decision by RBS and Clydesdale Bank to introduce bank charges on credit unions is wrong and should be reversed. One of the purposes of a credit union is to provide access to finance for people who can’t get this from high street banks. For those same high street banks to now be imposing charges which will restrict this access is wrong.

“I raised this matter in the House of Commons today, and urge the government to intervene to reverse this decision. Too many financially vulnerable people in communities across Scotland will lose out for the government to sit back and do nothing about this.”