Two Moray communities fighting against the potential closure of their banks will find out if they have been successful “within days”.
Bank of Scotland announced plans to shut Lossiemouth and Keith last November, with bosses blaming changing trends in the industry and a reduction in customers.
It would be a particular blow to Lossiemouth, as it is the last remaining permanent branch in the town.
Local politicians and community leaders slammed these plans, and a series of meetings have been held over the last couple of months to persuade Lloyds Banking Group, the parent company of Bank of Scotland, to change their minds.
RBS Banks that have shut
Now, Lloyds have confirmed they will make a final decision about whether to give the banks a stay of execution within the next few days.
Vice-chairwoman of Lossiemouth Community Council, Carolle Ralph, is hoping for good news but vowed to continue to battle if not.
She said: “We hope we have been listened to and they realise how much of a loss this would be to the community in Lossiemouth.
“If it is shut down, we will bring together a campaign group and get our heads together to come up with a strategy to continue the battle.”
Lossiemouth is an expanding town, with the UK Government making a massive investment in RAF Lossiemouth which is leading to an influx of armed forces personnel moving in.
And if the Keith branch closes, Bank of Scotland customers will have to do a 20-mile round trip to Huntly to do their banking.
United Keith chairwoman Linda Gorn is writing to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to persuade her to visit the town and see the detrimental effect shutting banks has had.
She said: “By shutting down banks, these companies are openly destroying footfall on the high streets.
“If you go to bank in the town, then you are likely to browse the shops as well so if there is no bank here, people will go elsewhere to shop.
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“Businesses are going to the wall due to these decisions made by richer people.”
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “I wrote to Lloyds Banking Group again this week to follow up on the meeting in December and have been advised that our plea for a stay of execution is being considered, and that we should expect to receive a response in the coming days.”