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Bank will close ‘whatever’

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By Abbey Morton
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Bank will close ‘whatever’

THE closure of a bank in Lockerbie will go ahead regardless, officials have confirmed.

In a meeting this week, Neil Moore and Samantha McGrath of Bank of Scotland said that whatever the feedback from customers and the local community, there was no chance of the branch remaining open after the deadline of August 8.

They also refused to hold a public meeting in the town to discuss the reasons for the closure, Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell yesterday revealed.

The MP held a ‘frank and robust’ meeting with executives, where he set out his concerns about the ability of local people to access banking services post-closure and its impact on the high street.

Mr Mundell said: “I was very disappointed but sadly not surprised about how the meeting went. Bank of Scotland seem hell-bent on closing the Lockerbie branch and are not willing to discuss changing that decision, or even justifying it publicly to Lockerbie customers.

“In my opinion, the decision also smacks of a cynical attempt to get round new legislation the UK Government is bringing forward shortly to protect people’s access to banking services when the last bank in a community closes.

“The big banks say they want to meet the needs of people in small towns and rural areas but all they do to is close branches and tell people to do things online.”

He also said that what concerned him most was that there is no long-term plan to keep other local branches open.

Mr Mundell added: “We need a sensible geographic spread of bank branches or banking hubs, where local branches are closed, to ensure everybody can access face-to-face banking services if they need to.”

Bank of Scotland say they completed ‘detailed analysis’ which included: how customers bank with them, how often they use the branch, current services and opening hours, access to public transport, broadband availability, and the impact on vulnerable customers.

Graphs released by the bank compare branch and cash machine transactions in November 2016 to use in the same month in 2020 and 2021, and show a significant drop.

 

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