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Bank Branch Closures

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:50 pm on 18th March 2020.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change) 4:50 pm, 18th March 2020

Thank you for allowing me to catch your eye, Sir David. I congratulate my hon. Friend Owen Thompson on bringing forward the debate. I want first to touch on the potential closure of the Bank of Scotland branch in Galston in my constituency. It is not just the last bank in Galston, but actually the last bank in town for nine settlements. Kilmarnock, the major town in my constituency, will be the only one left with banks. That is unacceptable. Settlements with a combined population of more than 40,000 people will be without access to a bank.

The Bank of Scotland always uses the same mode of operation; it sends out a letter to notify its customers and produces statistics that say that the branch has had a drop in numbers and performs less well than the average bank. I pointed out that if it keeps reducing branches and concentrating on big urban centres, the remaining rural branches will clearly have less footfall than the urban branches. They also have less overheads, and possibly less staff. It is not comparing apples with apples.