Disheartened by another branch closure

Friday October 30th 2020

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

I know that many locally have been disheartened by the news that yet another bank will be closing its local branch. Dalkeith was one of the branches announced within the 73 TSB branch closures across Scotland – more than half of the branches in the country.

I requested an urgent meeting with TSB to discuss the impact that this would have on the community, and to highlight that this closure would be detrimental to the residents of Dalkeith who rely on this service.

I had a long discussion with TSB regarding the closure of the Dalkeith branch, which unfortunately did not result in the desired outcome of keeping the branch open. The representatives informed me that they only have 23 customers per week going into the branch, and due to this there is simply no basis on which they can stay open.

I made it clear to the representatives that a local post office was not an adequate substitute for a branch. Following my negotiations with them on this matter, they agreed that they would set up a facility where they would provide on the ground support for people who need face to face services. This would include, for example, enquiries about mortgages or more complex transactions which might need face to face assistance. This will allow locals to continue to get the financial support they need.

As it stands currently, they need accommodation for the facility, and I am actively working with TSB to look at the options and to help them find some suitable local contacts. Despite the fact it is not feasible to keep the branch open fully, I am glad that they were cooperative in looking towards other means to support the community and to continue providing a service, albeit more limited than what is currently in place.

I look forward to working with them on this proposal, and updating the community about the new services once these have been put in place.

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