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Yesterday Isle of Arran and Millport, Isle of Cumbrae’s MP, Patricia Gibson, met with Neil Moore and Robert Cooper of Group Corporate Affairs, Lloyds Bank to discuss the proposed closure of the Bank of Scotland branches in Brodick and Millport, the impact of these closures and to urge the bank to reconsider.

Mrs Gibson said:

“I stressed that it is unreasonable to use a uniform criteria when considering branch footfall and number of transactions, to decide if a bank branch should be retained, since we know that in rural and island communities, the numbers will inevitably be smaller than in towns and cities.

“I urged the bank to reconsider, pointing out how impractical it is for older and vulnerable Bank of Scotland customers on Arran and Millport to travel to Saltcoats or Largs respectively.

“As I have discovered from long experience of dealing with a range of banks which have left our communities over the years, once the decision to close a branch has been announced, banks will not reconsider their decisions and this was the position the Bank of Scotland took today.

“However, the Bank of Scotland has vowed to ensure that a ‘community banker’ will continue to serve its island customers and its representatives are working with the local Post Office to ensure banking services continue to be delivered.

“This is clearly a bitter blow for Arran and Millport and yet another example of banks retreating from our towns across Scotland and the entire UK and something about which I have been very vocal in Westminster since I was first elected.

“Bank of Scotland is closing 28 branches across the country. Unfortunately, banking remains reserved to the UK Government whose position is that “the decision to close a branch is a commercial issue for banks and building societies and the Government does not intervene in these decisions.

“Access to cash and banking facilities are important to our communities, consumers and local businesses and our banks have an ongoing duty to continue to support our communities.

“I will present a petition to the House of Commons on behalf of Arran and Millport residents on this very issue when Westminster reconvenes.”



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