Council motion calls on Bank of Scotland to reconsider closures

Wednesday June 21st 2023

Duns-Bank-of-Scotland

The Bank of Scotland branch in Duns is due to close.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Paul Kelly

A motion is to go before Scottish Border Council next week calling on the Bank of Scotland to reconsider its decision to axe four branches.

The branches set to close between October 2023 and February 2024 are in Duns, Eyemouth, Jedburgh and Newcastleton.

Bank of Scotland – which operates under the Lloyds Banking Group – said in a statement: “The world is becoming more digital than ever before and more of our customers are doing their everyday banking online.”

But the decsion has devastated many in rural communities who rely on face-to-face banking.

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council on Thursday, June 29, councillors will be urged to express strong opposition to the closures, “recognising the negative impact it will have on local residents and businesses”.

It will also be requested that Councillor Euan Jardine, the leader of SBC, writes to the Bank of Scotland emphasising the importance of maintaining access to in-person banking services, particularly for those individuals who do not currently have access to internet or phone banking facilities.

The motion, submitted by the deputy leader of SBC, Councillor Scott Hamilton, also highlights the local authority’s “deep disappointment at the lack of understanding demonstrated by the Bank of Scotland towards our small towns and rural communities that rely on these branches for their banking needs in the Scottish Borders”.

The motion adds: “We call upon the Bank of Scotland to reconsider its decision and engage in meaningful dialogue with local stakeholders, including this council, to explore alternative solutions that preserve essential banking services within the affected communities.

“This council requests the Bank of Scotland to provide satisfactory responses to all questions and concerns raised by the council and affected residents, ensuring transparency and addressing each point of inquiry thoroughly.

“We urge the Bank of Scotland to reconsider its decision, engage in constructive discussions, and provide satisfactory responses to address the concerns raised by the council and local residents. Together, we will strive to find alternatives that prioritise the banking needs of our communities and preserve vital local services.”

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