Bank closure ‘will hit elderly people’

The Bank of Scotland in Lochgelly
The Bank of Scotland in Lochgelly

An MSP has hit out at the decision to close the Bank of Scotland branch in Lochgelly..

Annabelle Ewing MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Cowdenbeath constituency, has expressed her disappointment at the news.

She said: “I was extremely disappointed to be informed by the Bank of Scotland that they have taken the decision to close their Lochgelly branch on the of February 27.

“I fully understand that there is pressure on branch banking across all the High Street Banks but that very phrase is becoming meaningless as branches disappear from our towns and villages at an escalating rate.

“There is no doubt that the way in which many people do their banking with online and telephone banking becoming increasingly popular, but it is the elderly and the disadvantaged who are the main users of branches and they are the very people who will find it hardest to either access these other forms of banking or to travel to the Cowdenbeath branch.

“This decision will be hard, too, on the staff at the Lochgelly office. I want to hear assurances form the Bank of Scotland that there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of this branch closure.

“One point of reassurance which I do want to get across to customers of the Lochgelly Branch of Scotland is that their account numbers and sort codes will stay the same and there is nothing that they need to do to transfer their account to Cowdenbeath.”

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird said: “This disappointing decision by the Bank of Scotland represents a blow for loyal customers in Lochgelly.

“We hear constant marketing adverts about banks being there to serve their customers but while more and more customers are choosing to bank online, there is still a strong customer base which wishes to carry out banking transactions face-to-face, or can’t bank online.

“Banks often talk about their wider social responsibilities but to be socially inclusive I believe they should also be integral to the high street, helping sustain local communities and businesses and encouraging foot fall to our town centres.

“I will be writing to the Bank of Scotland asking for an urgent meeting to discuss this decision and the implications it will have for people in Lochgelly and nearby communities.”