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Link urged to consider Forres as possible ‘banking hub’ ahead of Moray town’s last branch closing

Bank of Scotland has closed several branches across Scotland, as it moves to online.
Bank of Scotland has closed several branches across Scotland, as it moves to online.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has urged banking company Link to provide cash services in Forres after the closure of its last bank branch later this year.

Mr Lochhead has contacted Link to urge them to consider Forres as a potential “banking hub” so residents can easily access their money.

It comes after the Bank of Scotland announced it planned to close its Forres premises, the last bank branch in the Moray town, in July.

Following the closure, residents will have a minimum 10-mile journey to Nairn or Elgin to visit a bank counter.

Several bank branches across the UK have been closed as the banking industry moves online.

cash services
Additional cash services provided by Link may help Forres residents after the last bank in town closes.

Link, which operates the UK’s largest cash machine network, has assessed bank branch closures and decided whether to provide additional cash access.

The firm confirmed an assessment of additional cash services in Forres will happen after the Bank of Scotland branch closes.

Link urged to offer cash services in Forres

Nick Quin, head of financial inclusion at Link, said: “Link is committed to protecting access to cash, and has recently taken on a role as the coordinating body to independently assess the impact of changes to banking services on communities.

“Once Link has been told about a planned closure, we assess whether the community’s needs will still be met even after the closure has taken place.

“If we decide that a new service will be needed, we work with the firms who have signed up to the initiative to provide it.

“As there will be no banking services in Forres following the closure of its bank branches, Link will be considering whether additional services are required in the town as part of this process.”

Richard Lochhead.

Speaking about the closure, Mr Lochhead said: “Plans to close the last bank branch in Forres have come as a huge blow to the local community and I know there are serious concerns about the impact on local businesses and people who are unable to bank online.”

Following a meeting with the Bank of Scotland, where he attempted to convince executives to reconsider the closure, Mr Lochhead spoke to Link urging them to act.

He added: “Link has indicated that there is a strict set of criteria that they must apply but will be visiting Forres in the near future as part of their considerations.

“I’ve asked to meet with Link and intend to make the case for a banking hub facility in the town because frankly, it strikes me as ridiculous that the second largest community in Moray will be left without a single bank branch.”

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