MSP opposes closure of last Dornoch bank
14th June 2017
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, says she is dismayed to learn that the Bank of Scotland is proposing to close its branch in Dornoch on 9 September.
The MSP has previously raised concerns about cuts to rural banking services as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced its decision to drastically cut its services in the Highlands and Islands. At that time, the MSP tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on the RBS to reconsider its decision.
Mrs Grant has now been contacted by constituents who are concerned about this latest proposal from the Bank of Scotland to close its Dornoch branch in September. This is the last remaining bank in Dornoch and would leave customers with 20 mile round trips to either Golspie or Tain to access face-to-face banking services.
The MSP has previously refuted the banks' claims that an increase in internet banking is affecting their branches. Mrs Grant has said this may be the case in big cities but it is certainly not true for the rural Highlands and Islands where poor broadband services make internet banking both difficult and unreliable.
She said "These cuts have a disproportionate effect on our rural communities where the more fragile business environment and ageing population make face-to-face banking hugely important. It is simply not acceptable that our rural communities are to be given a second rate service.
Mrs Grant concluded "I have written to both the bank directly and to the Financial Services Authority about this latest proposal by the Bank of Scotland. People living in rural areas should not be disadvantaged because of the area in which they live. All banks should provide a quality service to all communities across Scotland."