Closures of local bank branches and the lack of ATM’s (the hole in the wall) where you can access cash is being highlighted by Thurso and Northwest Caithness Councillor Karl Rosie.
See also: 60 RBS Branches in Scotland to Close
Karl Rosie is the SNP candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross in the UK General Election to be held on Thursday 12th of December.
Karl Rosie said:
“The Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross area have been massively affected by the closure of Scottish bank branches which has meant several ATMs have been withdrawn from the area. This is without a doubt having a detrimental impact on our high streets, local businesses and the tourism industry.
“There is no denying that the UK is taking steps towards becoming a cashless society, however, this is not practical for the Highlands & Islands. We have a huge issue with broadband connectivity and mobile services in rural communities and this can cause real problems when it comes to online banking
“Let’s not forget the older generation, who may be unfamiliar or opposed to online banking and are instead having to go out of their way to access cash.”
ATM provider, Link, has set up a delivery fund with the goal of improving the accessibility of cash in communities throughout the UK. The scheme which is backed by the banking and finance industry will allow elected officials such as MP’s & councillors to apply for the grant and request ATM’s in areas where access to cash is limited.
Research carried out by Which? found that Scotland lost more than a third of its banks & building society branches between 2010 and 2018 which led to the closure of more than 200 ATM’s in Scotland last year alone.
Commenting on the Access to Cash Initiative, Karl Rosie said:
“The Community Access to Cash Initiative is a great idea and I was pleased to see in August that Durness had been chosen to receive a new free-to-use cash machine as part of the scheme. Before this, locals faced either a 53-mile drive to Lochinver or a 71-mile journey to Thurso. This is just one example of the issues surrounding accessibility to cash in rural areas in the Highlands & Islands.”
Due to the upcoming election, the application window for the Community Access to Cash Initiative has now been moved to January 2020 but Councillor Rosie is urging locals to get in touch now regarding suggestions of areas that would benefit from a new ATM.
You can contact Karl by email on firstname.lastname@example.org