Bank of Scotland announces closure of long-standing branches in two Fife towns

Politicians have urged Bank of Scotland to think again after plans to close two Fife branches were announced.
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The doors are set to shut in its branches at The Cross in Cupar, and Main Street Falkland later this year.

Wendy Chamberlain, MP for North-East Fife, described the decision as “concerning” and said it would leave local customers and businesses with fewer options and more travel to see bank staff.

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The Cupar branch is due to close on October 2, with Falkland following on December 5. They will be replaced with a community banker, with set hours to visit the local area.

The branch in Falkland is facing closure later this yearThe branch in Falkland is facing closure later this year
The branch in Falkland is facing closure later this year

The bank said transactions by personal customers at its Cupar branch were down 73% in the last five years, and business matters down 86%. it said. Cupar’s branch is used 93% of the time for personal banking matters with business taking up just 7% At Falkland, personal transactions were down 52% and business transactions down 24%.

The bank said its community banker would visit the towns after the closures. They will have a dedicated office space in a local venue for private meetings, which do not require appointments - but politicians want more details on how that service will work.

Mrs Chamberlain said: “This announcement is concerning and I urge Bank of Scotland to think again. Banking and access to cash are core services which people depend on. The loss of services will undoubtedly increase the difficulty local people and businesses face, leaving them with fewer options or requiring them to travel further.

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“Bank of Scotland must provide details of what the community banking service will look like as soon as possible. I will also continue to press the UK Government to go further on access to cash, and take forward the measures in the Scottish Affairs Committee’s report from last year.

She was backed by Willie Rennie MSP who said the news would come as blow to both towns.

“I know that customers who rely on these bank branches will be dismayed. The announcement means that local people who still want face to face access to banking will lose out. I am also concerned that access to cash will be further limited,” he said. The bank management must think again about this damaging decision. They have had a presence in our communities for generations and branches shouldn’t be closed in rush or because of a short-term decision.

“Bank of Scotland must make clear that the closures will be followed by concrete measures to support customers, and fully explain the details of its future service. I also want to see renewed efforts to create local banking hubs so that communities have the option of sustainable in person services.”