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George outside Paisley's East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

George Takes Branch Closure Issue to Holyrood

The issue of bank branch closures has recently been highlighted in the Scottish Parliament by Paisley’s MSP George Adam. In light of the recent announcement by the Bank of Scotland that its East End branch will be closed, George asked Minister for Business, Fergus Ewing MSP his thoughts on the recent announcement. This closure follows on from two by the Royal Bank of Scotland in the last two years, with its Town Centre and East End branches both shutting their doors for the final time.

George outside Paisley's East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

George outside Paisley’s East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

Answering George’s parliamentary question on the subject, Mr Ewing said, “It is essential that banking services are available and accessible to all members of our communities and that appropriate alternative access arrangements are put in place.

“We understand that not everyone in society is able to access online banking—it does not suit everyone. I hope that our banks will take on board the message that I am reinforcing now when they consider such matters in future. I am pleased that
Mr Adam has raised the matter, and we will continue to ensure that the views that local members from throughout the country express strongly are clearly communicated to our banks in Scotland.

Speaking after the parliamentary exchange, George commented, “I was pleased that the Minister for Business shared my concerns and mirrored many of the comments made by the customers affected by closures of both the Bank of Scotland and RBS. As previously stated, I have written to the Bank of Scotland stating my constituents concerns, however three weeks have passed and I have yet to receive a response. How can people trust that their banking will be carried out on time when there bank takes so long to respond to my letter?

‘Faceless banking is becoming an all too familiar norm in modern society. It does not cater for people who do not use mobile, telephone or internet banking. Elderly residents in Whitehaugh, Ralston and Seedhill are within easy walking distance of this branch, and have been for years. This is how they bank, face to face, over the counter round the corner from their home. Now they will be expected to walk into the centre of our town to deal within their bank. I am extremely disappointed that to date, Bank of Scotland have not responded to my letter. However I will continue to put pressure on this multi-million pound organisation to continue to have a branch in our town’s east end.”

George Speaks Out Over Branch Closure

Today Lloyds Banking Group announced its decision to close the East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland on Glasgow Road. In an email to Paisley’s MSP George Adam, Lloyds pointed to declining usage of branches across Scotland. Unfortunately, no information has been provided regarding the number of customers using their Glasgow Rd office. This news comes after Paisley seen the Royal Bank of Scotland close two branch in recent years.George Serious Paisley Town Hall

Speaking on the announcement, George said, “I have today written to the Managing Director of the Bank of Scotland, Robin Bulloch requesting an urgent reconsideration of this decision. While I have been told staff will be redeployed, it is always a cause for concern when your place of business is closed. For the second time in two years, the people of the East End of Paisley have been let down by a bank closing their local branch. While Lloyds Banking Group have pointed to decreasing numbers of people using branches, I find it very telling that like RBS, we have not been informed if this branch is one of the ones seeing reduced footfall.

‘Customers will rightly be angry that they are increasingly being driven towards faceless banking either through mobile apps or internet and telephone banking. Some people may find this more convenient, however still to this day, a significant number of people prefer conducting their banking in person, including many of my elderly constituents who have banked face to face for decades. We often see adverts from banks with catchy slogans like ‘customer focused banking’ or ‘putting the customer at the heart of everything we do’. Closing branches seems to fly in the face of this.

‘It is also very disappointing that there will be another shop to fill on Glasgow Road. The recent decrease in empty shops in the East End and our town centre is very welcome. But when long establish businesses close down, it’s a real blow to the local landscape. I would encourage all Bank of Scotland customers who use the East End branch to contact the bank and make their feelings known.”