Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

MPs call for ban on leaving Scottish towns without banks

David Duguid, MP for Banff and Buchan.
David Duguid, MP for Banff and Buchan.

Banks should be banned from leaving Scottish towns without branches, according to a new report which highlights the impact of closures in the north and north-east.

A report by MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee (SAC) has called on the UK Government to seek a commitment from financial institutions that they will not close the last bank in town.

The SAC went on to recommend that, if banks refuse to make the commitment, the government should introduce legislation to ensure communities have access to banks.

The report “Access to Cash in Scotland”, published today, has confirmed there have been 403 bank branch closures in Scotland since 2015, while 290 ATMs have closed in the last year.

Eighteen of the bank closures were in Aberdeen City, 17 in Aberdeenshire, 16 in Moray and 28 in the Highlands.

The report added that the closures had been particularly felt in rural areas where broadband is slower, customers are less inclined to use online banking and people are more reliant on cash than elsewhere.

MPs on the committee reported the impact of losing a bank was “particularly acute” when it was the last bank in town.

The report said Lossiemouth residents had written to MPs when it was announced that their last bank branch was closing.

The MPs noted reports that the Lossiemouth community had run out of cash on the first weekend after the closure.

The Press and Journal’s Save Our Banks campaign, backed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, has been fighting against the closure of branches in the north and north-east.

Banff and Buchan Tory MP David Duguid, who sits on the SAC, said: “The bottom line is that customers must not be penalised for merely living in a more rural location.”

SAC chairman Pete Wishart of the SNP said it was “disgraceful” that banks were abandoning towns.

He added: “Scottish communities are becoming cash-free against their will and it is time the Government stepped in to intervene.”

In addition to a ban on the last bank in town closing, the committee called for tougher regulation of closures including public consultation.

Further ATM closures should be prevented by network provider LINK not introducing its planned interchange fee reduction.

The UK Government was urged to set up a working group with industry to introduce network-wide deposit ATMs. And a banking hub pilot should be extended to rural Scotland.

A UK Government spokeswoman said decisions about closures were made by bank management, but added that customers should be given as much notice as possible.

 

 

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal