Loanhead bank closure date confirmed

GV of Loanhead Bank of Scotland in Clerk St which is set to close, pic taken 01/02/20GV of Loanhead Bank of Scotland in Clerk St which is set to close, pic taken 01/02/20
GV of Loanhead Bank of Scotland in Clerk St which is set to close, pic taken 01/02/20
The closure date has been confirmed for the last remaining bank branch in Loanhead despite local uproar at the plans, delayed by Covid-19.

Bank of Scotland is pressing ahead with the closure of the Clerk Street branch on November 2 this year.

It was initially announced in January that it was to be one of 14 Bank of Scotland branches across the country to close on May 4, with the banking giant blaming a drop in the number of counter transactions at the branch for making the “difficult decision”.

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A ‘Save Loanhead Bank of Scotland from Closing’ petition was immediately set-up on when the announcement was made, with locals determined to retain a bank in the town.

Due to Covid -19 Bank of Scotland decided in April to suspend the closures. However, a new date has been set for the closures, angering people in Loanhead.

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson (SNP) expressed his disappointment that the Bank of Scotland is pressing ahead with the closure.

He said: “This is deeply disappointing news. I had hoped Covid-19 would give the Bank of Scotland time to rethink the poor decision to close the only remaining branch in Loanhead, in one of the fastest growing communities in Scotland.

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“The case is even stronger now for locally-based facilities to be maintained. It is harder for vulnerable people to safely travel on buses to find another branch, and more people are working from home or setting up their own businesses - they need access to cash and support from their local bank.

“Our lives may have been changed by Covid-19, but it seems nothing can change the minds of those at the top in the banking industry.

“When the commercial market fails, government needs to step in and support communities. Tighter regulations are needed to protect towns from losing their last bank and ensure we still have access to cash.

“The community engagement we see at the moment is little more than a tick-box exercise - it has to be meaningful. Decisions must also take into account the growing population projections and the impact on the significant number of people who do not use other banking methods.

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“Before lockdown I took this issue to Westminster and held a debate on bank branch closures, and I will be raising the matter again when we return this week.

“I will be fighting this closure all the way.”

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