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Bank closure blow for Lockerbie

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By Newsdesk
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Bank closure blow for Lockerbie

THE Lockerbie branch of Bank of Scotland is set to close later this year, it emerged yesterday.

The branch, which is located on the High Street, will close on August 8, with bosses blaming it on the fact that 70 per cent of customers already use alternative ways of banking, such as over the phone or internet banking.

They pointed out that customers can still use the banking services and ATM at the town’s Post Office, over the road.

A Bank of Scotland spokesperson said: “Our Bank of Scotland branches are an important way for customers to get help with their everyday banking but, like many other businesses on the high street, fewer customers are visiting their local branch and are instead choosing to bank mainly online or on their phones.”

The banking group confirmed that there will be no compulsory redundancies from the closure and they aim to support all affected staff who want to remain with the group, with a move to a new role.

However, David Mundell MP and Oliver Mundell MSP have accused the Bank of Scotland of a “deliberate and cynical attempt” to get round proposed UK Government legislation to require banking facilities to remain in local communities, by announcing the closure before any legislation is introduced.

David Mundell said: “Access to cash and banking services remain vitally important to people in rural areas and whilst the big banks give this lip service, their actions suggest otherwise. Of course less people are using branches, but closing them without an alternative and leaving empty properties on local High Streets isn’t the way to tackle the issue and smacks of an entirely cost driven approach rather than meeting customer need.

“Action like this by Bank of Scotland leads me to a view that legislation will be required to force them to meet the needs of rural and vulnerable communities.”

And Oliver Mundell added: “This news will come as a hammer blow to Lockerbie and will have a very significant and negative impact on both bank customer and the community as a whole.

“This move shows that the large banks have given up on small town Scotland and the needs of their rural customers, and the time for government to step in has most definitely arrived.”

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