Douglas Ross to meet with Bank of Scotland bosses over branch closures

It was announced last week that 19 Bank of Scotland branches will close across the UK.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross to meet with Bank of Scotland bosses over branch closures Google Maps

Douglas Ross is to meet with Bank of Scotland bosses over the decision to shut 19 of the bank’s branches across the country.

Lloyds Banking Group announced last week that it will also close 24 Lloyds Bank branches and 17 Halifax sites across the UK.

According to trade union Unite, the move is expected to result in 124 job losses.

However, the banking group has said that it hopes to redeploy all staff affected to new roles.

The company explained the move to close branches is driven by a surge in online banking over recent years, while branch attendance has dwindled.

But, the decision has faced criticism, with warnings that some areas will be left with no banks at all.

Ross, who is the MP for Moray, described the call to scrap the Bank of Scotland’s Forres branch as “utterly unacceptable”.

The Forres branch of the bank is due to be closed on July 11 this year.

And Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, will meet with representatives of the Bank of Scotland at Westminster on Tuesday, as he urged them to reverse the decision.

“I was determined to secure a meeting as soon as possible to voice my grave concerns over the closure of the last bank in Forres directly to Bank of Scotland bosses,” said Ross.

“I’ll be making it absolutely clear to them that this decision is utterly unacceptable and must be reversed. If they press ahead, Bank of Scotland would be abandoning Forres and some of their most rural and remote customers.

“Constituents have voiced their anger to me in huge numbers over the last week and the Bank of Scotland cannot ignore their voices. Local residents want the branch to remain open and so do I.”

Ross continued: “Many of our elderly and vulnerable customers are simply not able to carry out mobile or internet banking and even if they can, connectivity is not always reliable.

“This meeting must herald a change of direction from the Bank of Scotland and I will be continuing to explore every avenue to ensure there is a bank branch open in Forres.”

A Bank of Scotland spokesperson said: “Just like many other high street businesses, fewer customers are choosing to visit our branches.

“Our branch network is an important way for us to support our customers, but we need to adapt to the significant growth in customers choosing to do most of their everyday banking online.

“When our Forres branch closes in July, customers can continue to bank with us at the local Post Office which is a short walk away, as are several free-to-use ATMs.”

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