MSP discusses bank closures with firms

Councillor Jim Ingram and Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin
Councillor Jim Ingram and Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin

North-East businesses have been given the chance to raise concerns about the impact of bank closures.

The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee held a private meeting in Mintlaw to meet with organisations to hear about the long-term changes closures will bring to firms.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin was joined by elected representatives from the area where they were told of the challenges faced by branches shutting up shop.

Those who attended the meeting spoke about the lack of consultation they felt had been carried out by banks as well as fears over online banking.

In May last year, the Clydesdale Bank closed its branch in Mintlaw despite campaigning by Councillor Jim Ingram and Gillian Martin MSP.

Turriff Councillor Alastair Forsyth, who has been campaigning against the RBS closure in the town also attended the meeting.

The event was held at the Macbi Centre in Mintlaw on Monday afternoon.

Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said: “Closures of banks has been hitting rural areas in particular including in my constituency in Aberdeenshire East.

“It’s vital the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee hears the views of those impacted across the country and I wanted to make sure North-East voices were also heard.

“Closures impact across the community and different sectors. For example, the farming community have expressed interesting views about how they will be able to deposit cheques from Mart sales.

“Most people also felt that there needed to be more communication from banks especially when their branch is the last one in the town.

“When a bank closes there are many implications for businesses we wanted to be able to hear their experience first-hand.”