Edinburgh bank closures: MP urges Lloyds Banking Group to reconsider plans
and live on Freeview channel 276
Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.
She criticised the finance giant for using a survey of bank use carried out during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 to justify its latest tranche of closures.
Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Bank of Scotland, has announced its intention to shut 60 branches across the UK, including 19 in Scotland, between June and September, with the Shandwick Place branch due to close on July 13. The bank’s Barnton branch is due to close on the same day.
The Scottish branches are thought to employ a total of 124 people.
According to consumer magazine Which?, more than half of the 1,019 bank branches which existed in Scotland in 2015 will have shut by the end of this year, the highest proportion of closures of any part of the UK.
Ms Brock said: “I have written to Lloyds Group asking them for a full explanation of their decision to close the Bank of Scotland branch on Shandwick Place.
“In particular I seek urgent clarification on what consultation has taken place with staff and what new roles, if any, they have been offered.
“It is extremely disappointing Lloyds have used customer data from during the Covid-19 pandemic – when the bank was shut for long periods during lockdown – to justify its decision.
“The news will be particularly concerning for my elderly and less mobile constituents, and for business and community groups who rely on this local banking facility.”
Ms Brock is a member of Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee, which has investigated the growing number of bank closures and the ongoing importance of access to cash in Scotland.
She said an Access to Cash Review had highlighted that the UK was not ready to go cashless, and that 17 per cent of the UK population would struggle to cope in a cashless society.
“The UK government has made promises to legislate to ensure access to cash but aren’t treating this issue with the urgency needed.”
The company has said the closures are driven by a surge in online banking demand over recent years, while branch footfall has dwindled.