Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie raised the effects of bank closures in parliament last week, focusing on the recent Royal Bank of Scotland closure in Bonnyrigg.
In a debate on Scotland’s economic future in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Beattie (SNP) highlighted the serious effect on local communities when bank closures happen throughout Scotland and within his Midlothian North and Musselburgh constituency.
In the debate, Mr Beattie said: “The inconvenience to local business and personal customers, many of whom are vulnerable and elderly, was considerable.
“Bank closures continue the pernicious hollowing out of our communities, as libraries and other local facilities that formed the heart of our communities are closed down or run down.”
Commenting after the debate, Mr Beattie spoke about the Bonnyrigg closure. He said: “Bank closures are not just an inconvenience; they are an attack on the sustainability of our smaller towns and villages.
“The closure of the Bonnyrigg Royal Bank of Scotland in September, which has a large number of small businesses whose turnover is mostly in cash were left having to take time out of their busy day to travel to another bank branch in another town to carry out their banking or to pay for a secure courier to pick up takings.
“Although RBS’s most recent round of closures has brought the issue of branch banking to the fore,this is an issue that affects all banks and a solution must be looked at and include all banks.”
The Royal Bank of Scotland closure was not the only hit Bonnyrigg High Street took this year. The Bank of Scotland branch is introducing a micro banking system which will see an end to counter services, and the town’s post office was closed.