Clydesdale Bank has said it will not reverse a decision to close a well-used Deeside village branch – despite hundreds petitioning to save it.
Now campaigners are putting their efforts into saving the ATM outside the bank’s Aboyne outpost, which will be closed for good from May 17.
The cash point is the busiest of the two in the village, and is depended upon by thousands of visitors who descend on the community for the annual Aboyne Highland Games.
Last night Clydesdale Bank said they would “try to retain” the ATM, but that it may be at a different location within Aboyne.
It comes after a petition to save the branch from closure garnered about 640 signatures.
Last month Clydesdale Bank, part of the CYBG group, announced it was axing 40 of its outposts across Scotland – including those in Aboyne, Banff, Fraserburgh, Mintlaw, Stonehaven and North Esplanade West in Aberdeen.
Customers from as far afield as Strathdon and Braemar travel to Aboyne to visit the Clydesdale.
The next nearest branch for locals is in Banchory, which is a 12-mile trip from the village.
A meeting was held between Clydesdale officials, local politicians and community representatives last week.
SNP MP Stuart Donaldson: “It’s clear this is a very well used facility and the representatives from Clydesdale acknowledged there is a strong case to keep this.
“There is still a real need to ensure all customers can access their bank and we put forward a number of suggestions to the representatives including a shared facility with other banks to reduce costs but show a commitment to the local community.
“It remains to be seen if this will be seriously considered as I recognise there would be commercial and logistical challenges to overcome.
“They have, however, made a commitment to educating local users on how to do their banking online and on the phone and will give serious consideration towards keeping an ATM and cash deposit drawer in Aboyne.”
Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor Geva Blackett said the village needs an “ATM in a prominent place which is accessible to all”.
Local architect Duncan Robson said the bank had listened to their “reasoned arguments that they should retain some services in the village.”
A Clydesdale Bank spokeswoman said: “We are continuing to actively engage with local stakeholders and, having met and listened to their concerns, we will now try to retain an ATM within the town.
“This does however depend on finding a suitable alternative location.”