Bank of Scotland (Branch Closures)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 28th November 2018.

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Photo of Sandra White Sandra White Scottish National Party

I absolutely concur with what my colleague has said and with what many others have said in emails that I have received, in phone calls and on visits to my constituency office. I think that the situation is much worse in Angus and other outlying areas, and I am sure that we will hear about that from members as they contribute to the debate.

Mention of local people and local businesses relying on banking facilities to bank their takings or change money takes me on to another issue. I do not know whether many members know about the use of white spaces in shops to supply some banking services but not all of them. That is a very worrying trend, and it is particularly problematic for those who use card accounts. Lots of people use card accounts to pay their rent and bills, but the white spaces that are starting to be created in local shops do not necessarily deal with card accounts. The situation has to be looked at, as card accounts are a lifeline for a lot of people and the only way that they can pay their bills. The issue has been raised with me quite often in connection with renting social housing from housing associations.

There is also a knock-on effect on post offices from banks closing. I know that that issue has been raised by a number of other members, as well as at Westminster.