Publised date : 21 Jun 2023

Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has today met with senior Bank of Scotland staff to discuss the closure of their Dunkeld branch.
The meeting, which was also attended by other MSPs who will be affected by branch closures in their constituency, was an opportunity to discuss mitigations that are being put in place to support customers and to raise directly with senior stakeholders the concerns of the local community.
It was confirmed by Bank of Scotland representatives that steps are being taken to soften the impact of the branch closure. It has been recommended that a new ATM is installed in Dunkeld and the local Post Office will act as a location for customers to access in-person banking services. Additionally, a community banker will be available to meet with customers in order to assist with more sophisticated tasks.
There was also a commitment to ensure that any vulnerable customers who need assistance will be offered the opportunity to meet in-person with a Bank of Scotland member of staff.
Whilst there is consideration to launching community banking hubs in various affected locations, Dunkeld is not currently being considered for this service. However, Bank of Scotland confirmed that, should there be sufficient community demand for such a service, it is something they would be willing to re-visit.
Commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“I was pleased to meet with Bank of Scotland staff and to better understand the decision-making process behind these branch closures.
“It was a productive meeting that allowed me the opportunity to articulate the legitimate concerns that many of my constituents have raised with me surrounding an erosion of banking services in rural areas and the potential difficulties that will be faced by vulnerable customers.
“Whilst I welcome the news that Bank of Scotland will be putting in place various measures to soften the blow of this closure, it is clear that the return of a full, in-person banking provision would be the optimal outcome for local customers – not to mention the many tourists and visitors who pass through Dunkeld on a daily basis. 
“To that end, I am hopeful that Bank of Scotland’s willingness to consider a community banking hub would eventually allow a return of a full service, albeit on reduced hours, to the town. This will only be possible with sufficient public engagement and demand for such a service, however.
“I will continue to liaise with Bank of Scotland and, should any constituents have any specific concerns they would like me to raise on their behalf, I would ask that they contact my office directly.”

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