Friday August 28th 2020
The Bank of Scotland branch occupies a prominent position in Loanhead.
Owen Thompson MP has expressed his disappointment that the Bank of Scotland are pressing ahead with the closure of the Loanhead branch on November 2nd this year.
The permanent closure of the branch was first announced in January but suspended due to the Covid19 outbreak.
Mr Thompson said:
“This is deeply disappointing news. I had hoped Covid-19 would give the Bank of Scotland time to rethink the poor decision to close the only remaining branch in Loanhead, in one of the fastest growing communities in Scotland.
“The case is even stronger now for locally based facilities to be maintained. It is harder for vulnerable people to safely travel on buses to find another branch, and more people are working from home or setting up their own businesses – they need access to cash and support from their local bank.
“Our lives may have been changed by Covid-19, but it seems nothing can change the minds of those at the top in the banking industry.
“When the commercial market fails, government needs to step in and support communities. Tighter regulations are needed to protect towns from losing their last bank and ensure we still have access to cash. The community engagement we see at the moment is little more than a tick-box exercise – it has to be meaningful. Decisions must also take into account the growing population projections and the impact on the significant number of people who do not use other banking methods.
“Before lockdown I took this issue to Westminster and held a debate on bank branch closures, and I will be raising the matter again when we return next week.
“I will be fighting this closure all the way.”
Bank of Scotland have said:
“Our customers’ needs are changing. Nearly 16 million people now bank with us through Internet Banking and over 10 million use Mobile Banking. Branches will remain vital in meeting customers’ needs but we must continually review our network to make sure we have branches in locations where customers need and use them the most.
“As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to close this branch because customers are using it less often. In addition the majority of customers are also using alternative ways to bank.”Tweet Share on Facebook