North-east councillors have held crunch talks with Clydesdale Bank bosses ahead of proposals to close branches across the region.
Clydesdale announced earlier this year that banks in Fraserburgh, Banff and Mintlaw would be shut down, leaving long-time customers having to travel to neighbouring towns to manage their finances.
The proposal has met with anger among customers affected, and a petition was even started in a bid to change the minds of the bank’s bosses in Fraserburgh.
Yesterday, councillors from the affected towns met with representatives from the firm to plead their case in person.
But, speaking afterwards, councillor Hamish Partridge, who runs a business in Fraserburgh, said he felt as if there was “no chance” the bank would be staying open.
He said: “During our meeting today, I was extremely disappointed that Clydesdale made it very clear that the decision was made and closure was final with no chance of change.
“This will have a serious negative effect on our town centres of Fraserburgh and Banff with many long-time customers suffering the consequences of losing the facility.”
He added it was now important for the council to start exploring what it could do to help inconvenienced customers.
Mr Partridge added: “The Clydesdale representatives explained the agreement and service that will be available from the Post Office which is far from perfect, but at least customers can still access their accounts in some form.”
Last night, a spokesman for Clydesdale Bank confirmed that a meeting had taken place with councillors on Monday.
He added: “We are continuing to engage with the local community and we appreciated the opportunity to meet with local councillors to discuss the range of banking options in the local area.”
Concerns have been raised that the building used by Clydesdale in Fraserburgh – in the town centre – could fall into ruin after the branch closes down in the summer.