THE Bank of Scotland has announced the closure of mobile banking services in various areas across Aberdeenshire and Moray. Banff and Buchan MP, David Duguid, has expressed shock and disappointment at the decision, emphasising the impact on rural communities.
Duguid, who has requested a meeting with the Bank of Scotland to address the matter, stated, “it’s shocking that at a time when banks are closing in these areas, residents are now being stripped of mobile services which provide a lifeline to rural communities.”
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Why? Free to subscribe, no paywall, daily business news digest.
The closure of mobile banking services comes at a time when many banks are scaling back physical branches in rural areas, raising concerns about accessibility for residents, particularly older individuals who rely on traditional banking methods.
“This decision highlights the shameful attitude of banks towards providing face-to-face facilities, which is resulting in vulnerable people being abandoned,” Duguid added, highlighting the increasing difficulties faced by older individuals who prefer cash transactions and local bank services.
The MP stressed that rural areas heavily depend on these services and expressed his determination to explore solutions, saying, “Rural areas desperately rely on these services, which is why I have asked to meet with the Bank of Scotland to see what can be done to help their most vulnerable customers across Aberdeenshire and Moray.”
The Bank of Scotland cited a decline in the use of mobile banking services and customers opting for alternative banking methods. The bank assured customers that they would still be supported through various channels, including online banking, mobile banking, phone services, and Post Office transactions.
The closure of the Mobile Branch service will be implemented by May 31, 2024, affecting multiple stops in the region, including Burghead, Fochabers, Aberlour, Portsoy, Cullen, and Shape.
The decision-making process involved an in-depth review, considering factors such as customer banking preferences, frequency of mobile branch usage, current services provided, and the availability of alternative banking options. However, the impact on vulnerable customers and those requiring additional support has raised concerns within the community.
The closure of mobile banking services in these rural areas continues to highlight the broader challenges faced by communities in maintaining essential financial services.