Fife politicians push for bank hubs after string of bank closures
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LINK have undertaken an assessment of replacement services in Cupar and Falkland and have made recommendations to the Cash Action Group. In the meeting Ms Chamberlain also pressed them to look at banking hubs as a way to continue to offer in-person services.
Together with local MSP Willie Rennie, Ms Chamberlain also met representatives from Bank of Scotland and Barclays last week. They highlighted the concerns of local residents and small businesses, and have called on the banks to rethink the closures.
The Bank of Scotland branches in Cupar and Falkland are scheduled to close in October and December respectively. On the same day Barclays announced the closure of its St Andrews branch, scheduled for September.
North East Fife Liberal Democrats have collected hundreds of signatures on their petition against the closures and have urged the banks to reconsider.
Wendy Chamberlain said: “This was an important meeting to establish what will be put in place to ensure access to cash in Falkland and Cupar.
"This is vital to the many small local businesses which rely on cash. It is also essential that residents will continue to have the option to budget with hard currency, which I know many people rely as they face increased prices.
“Providing access to cash is a starting point, but that is all, so I have pushed LINK to go much further than that.
"Establishing banking hubs, which can provide services to customers from multiple banks, would provide the flexibility which the current ‘last bank in town’ scenario doesn’t. I will continue to make the case for providing these core local services across the Kingdom of Fife.”
Willie Rennie MSP added: “The announced closures of three bank branches across North East Fife was very concerning, and threatens to have a cumulative impact on the services that are available to local people.
"Meeting with the banks, I made clear that they should consider the long-term impact and think again. However, I also support the use of banking hubs to continue to provide access to in-person banking.”