Moray SNP News
Richard Lochhead MSP and SNP Councillor Theresa Coull today met with the TSB’s Branch Distribution Director for Scotland, Carol Anderson, for talks over proposals to close its branch in Keith and to reduce the opening hours in Forres.
Mr Lochhead sought a meeting with the bank after it announced plans to pull out of Keith, leaving the town with just one remaining bank.
The SNP representatives made the case for the Keith branch to remain open but TSB’s Director confirmed the bank has no plans to reverse its decision, pointing to the reduced footfall for the reason behind the closure.
According to Which? magazine Moray is the rural area worst hit by bank closures in Scotland, having lost 15 bank branches since 2015.
Richard Lochhead MSP said:
“Plans to close the TSB branch in Keith have come as a blow to the local community and will leave the town with just one remaining bank. Whilst I was pleased that the bank met with us in Keith to discuss their plans, it is hugely disappointing that they feel unable to reconsider the decision to close the local branch.
“As we’ve seen with other bank closures, customers moving online and the changing way in which people choose to do their banking has led to banks taking the decision to close local high street branches. There are few places that have felt these closures as hard as we have here in Moray and I know that many of the TSB’s customers in Keith will be deeply disappointed to lose their local branch in July.
“Rural communities in Moray are being abandoned by the banks and sadly it is the most vulnerable people in our communities who are worst affected – many of whom are unable to travel to access services elsewhere.
“Moray has had more than its fair share of rural bank closures, and closures at this rate cannot continue - we cannot end up with a situation where the only branches left locally are in Elgin.
“The banks need to step up and find a way to protect banking services in our rural communities, whether that be by finding a way to make community banking hubs work or some alternative solution. If the banks continue to do nothing, then the Conservative UK Government must act to ensure people in communities like Keith continue to have access to the vital services they need.”
SNP Councillor for Keith and Cullen Theresa Coull added:
“The plans to close the Keith branch in July is hugely disappointing for TSB customers and the wider community. Many of their customers are not able to use internet banking or to travel to access their services – they need access to their local branch.
“Vulnerable folk and businesses depend on having a local branch in the town and TSB customers shouldn’t be put in a position of having to move banks.
“We used to have five banks in Keith and with TSB pulling out we’re going to be left with just one left – this isn’t acceptable and the banks shouldn’t be allowed to abandon our rural communities at the rate they have.”