Election 2017: Labour’s pledge over bank closures

Lesley Laird, Labour candidate
Lesley Laird, Labour candidate

Recent bank branch closures have been criticised by Lesley Laird, Labour candidate for the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency.

She was speaking following Labour’s manifesto commitment to change the law so that banks can’t close a branch where there is a clear local need.

The party has pledged that banks would have to think more creatively about how they service their customers needs.

Ms Laird reflected, “Across this constituency communities have seen their High Street banks simply abandon their customers and the High Street. When the closure of the Kelty branch was announced the advice was use Cowdenbeath. Now there are proposals to close Cowdenbeath.

“When the closure of Aberdour and Inverkeithing was announced, they said use Dalgety Bay. Now there are proposals to close the branch in Dalgety Bay.”

Ms Laird added: “Not everyone can, or wants to, bank on line. It’s simply not good enough for communities to be left with no local banking facilities.

“It’s also about the knock on impact that closing bank branches has on surrounding businesses like butchers, newsagents and pharmacies who all depend on a level of footfall to make them sustainable. The banks talk a lot about their commitment to corporate social responsibility but people want evidence of that in actually meeting the needs of customers and communities.”

Ms Laird said, “Labour’s proposals offer a positive step forward. We need everyone to work together to deliver better outcomes for our communities and the banks need to come to the table and play their part with more creative options than closure.”