The battle to save two of Moray’s banks from closure will now reach London, as the region’s MP takes the cause to Westminster.
Douglas Ross has submitted an application for an urgent debate in the House of Commons.
If successful, he will use his time to question the UK Government’s response when a bank proposes to close the final branch in a town or village.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
Lloyds Banking Group confirmed last week that there would be no u-turn on proposals to shut Bank of Scotland branches in both Lossiemouth and Keith.
That means that Lossiemouth will be left without a permanent bank for the first time after losing Clydesdale, TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland branches over the last six years.
There had been hopes that could be staved-off, with the UK Government making a multi-million-pound investment into the town’s RAF base, which will result in a massive influx of armed forces personnel.
Bank officials have blamed changing trends in the industry and a reduction in customers for the closures.
They were apparently unmoved by the claims of campaigners who argued a final decision was illogical, given the potential for additional business.
Despite last week’s blow, Mr Ross has vowed to continue the fight to keep them open.
He said: “From the very outset, it seemed that Bank of Scotland bosses had made up their minds and despite the strong and persistent local campaigns in Lossiemouth and Keith, they are forging ahead with their plans to close both these branches.
“I’m not willing to accept the bank’s decision as being final, however, given how passionate local people have been about their proposals.
“That’s why, as a next step, I’m calling for a debate in Parliament that will focus on the UK Government’s response when the final bank in a town or village is proposed for closure, as is the case in Lossiemouth.
“This decision by the Bank of Scotland is a hammer blow to both Lossiemouth and Keith and I want to ensure Ministers at the Treasury are aware of the impact these decisions have and to urge the Government to look at the situation when the final bank branch in a town is proposed for closure.”