FSB comment on Scottish Affairs bank closures report

The Scottish Affairs Committee will be publish a new report today that recommends new action to prevent bank branch closures and protect Scotland’s cash machine network.

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “Losing a local bank branch makes it more difficult to run a business in an area, as well as leaving another ugly gap on a high street. MPs are right to underline the impact of the withdrawal of the banks on people and businesses. Swift action is now needed from policymakers to defend our remaining local financial infrastructure; to bring empty premises back to use; and to oversee the deployment of alternative facilities for left behind places.

“Hundreds of Scottish communities have seen a local bank close. Banking hubs and smart ATMs have regularly been promised as alternatives to bank branches, but they really haven’t materialised. The Scottish Affairs Committee is right to argue for action – including legislation – to retain our remaining local banks, as well as our cash machine network. However the big banks have shrugged off these sorts of reports before. This time must be different.”