News that the Bank of Scotland is to close more branches in Scotland, including in Stromness, has been met with dismay.
According to the Bank of Scotland they are transforming their services and as a result have to take the difficult decision to close some branches.
The Stromness branch has been offering a limited service for some time despite the town having 3 university campuses and being a main place to stay for visitors to Orkney.
Data collected by the Bank of Scotland shows that most of the users of the branch are elderly personal bankers.
These are people who like using local services and would be more unlikely to use internet banking. The closure of the Stromness Branch will mean they will have to travel to Kirkwall – either by car or bus – if they wish to bank in person.
Commenting on the closure of the Stromness Branch, Constituency MSP LibDem Liam McArthur said:
“News that Stromness is set to lose its last bank will be a further blow to the local community.
“While banking services have increasingly moved online, branches still provide an important service for local cash access and financial advice.
“I will be seeking to speak with the Bank of Scotland urgently to ensure that any closure does not threaten local jobs and on best we can maintain the services provided in Stromness.”
The Stromness branch is due to close on 17th August 2022.
The list of branch closures – 19 across Scotland – will hit hardest those with mobility issues or who cannot afford transport costs to another branch. At a time when local businesses are trying their hardest to encourage people to shop local and to increase footfall in our high streets – the closures of these branches is a hard blow to local economies.
Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Emma Roddick, has submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament urging the Bank of Scotland to rethink the decision. She said that the decision to close so many branches in the regions will plunge many communities across the Highlands and Islands into ‘unconscionable personal difficulty’.
Emma Roddick said:
“It goes without saying that this is a decision that will tremendously negatively impact the people of our region. People from a number of towns are reliant on these branches for their banking needs and they cannot be expected to drive to Kirkwall or Inverness or Elgin just to get basic banking services when they are currently available far closer to home.
“In communities which suffer from high digital poverty, this will be keenly felt and severely limit access to banking.
“I urge the Bank of Scotland to rethink this decision immediately.”
You can download the Bank of Scotland data on the Stromness closure here:
I sent this to Liam McArthur and Alistair Carmichael……
I needn’t go into how much difference the bank closure in Stromness will make to folk, and businesses, and the town.
That’s the way that banking is going now – closures – shareholder profits before people.
This is just an idea, and I don’t know if you can do anything about it, but I thought I’d suggest it anyway.
Would it be possible for you to contact the Co-op Bank, to see if they would consider opening a branch in Stromness? They pride themselves on being more ethical than other banks.
What a world and what times we’re living through.
It’s just an idea.
I also thought it was worth contacting them, so that they can say that their constituents have been contacting them – that helps when presenting their argument.