Owen Thompson (SNP) attended the parliamentary launch of the report ‘Strengthening the safety net: supporting NatWest Group’s most vulnerable customers’.
The project refers customers to advisers in instances where Royal Bank believes that Citizens Advice could offer support that addresses a root cause of financial vulnerability. The report found over 2,100 referrals have been made since the programme started in October 2020, over half of whom (59 per cent) had not previously been in contact with Citizens Advice.
Mr Thompson said: “This is affecting thousands of families in Midlothian and it's important people know where to turn for support if they find themselves experiencing financial difficulty.”
He added: “With many more households facing the risk of falling into poverty, it is encouraging that organisations such as RBS and Citizens Advice are working together to reach more people and make sure vulnerable customers can get the advice and support they need.”
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Benjamin Napier, chief executive officer at Citizens Advice Edinburgh said: “We are committed to giving people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever they need.
“Together with Royal Bank of Scotland we have been able to help people in the most vulnerable situations in our society across Scotland. The programme is an important way for us to reach more people who may need our help and might not have known about our services.”
David Lindberg, CEO, Retail Banking at NatWest said: “Through our partnership with Citizens Advice, we want to deliver personalised support to our most vulnerable customers. Many people who come to us for support have complex financial issues which impact their lives.
“In this current economic environment, it’s more important now than ever to be able to intervene when customers experience early signs of financial difficulty and help them to improve their financial capability.’’