Gael force checks RBS

The Royal Bank of Scotland rescinded a decision not to accept cheques drawn in the Gaelic language following protests from Western Islanders and their nationalist MSP during April and May 2009.

RBS apparently has long been in the practice of issuing chequebooks printed in Gaelic as well as English, but their customer, Mr Michael Drummond of Stornoway, wanted to draw his cheques entirely in Gaelic, and the bank initially refused to accept this.  The bank’s reasoning was that a cheque had to be written in English so that everybody and anyone could understand it.

However, the protests of Mr Drummond and his MSP, Alasdair Allan, brought Bord na Gaidhlig into play, and RBS backed down on 15 May 2009 after discussions with the Bord.  The pressure is now on RBS and the other banks to allow not only Gaelic cheques but also to provide other services, especially online ones, in that language as well.