Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Killing Communities and Neighbourhoods

A third of banks in Scotland have closed since 2010. 610 banks and building societies closed between 2010 and 2018.

Edinburgh south-west had the most bank closures, cutting the network by 135 branches down to a total of 30.
Glasgow Central came second, having lost 70, while Edinburgh North and Leith lost 65 and Edinburgh East lost 45.
Angus, Dundee West, Falkirk and Paisley and Renfrewshire North all lost 15 branches.
Since 2015 RBS has closed the most branches, shutting 158 of the 399 banks that have closed in those three years. Bank of Scotland closed 86, Clydesdale closed 59, Santander closed 38 and TSB closed 35.

Stuart Mackinnon, external affairs manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland, said "Policymakers need to take action to stop financial institutions removing this infrastructure from our communities."

Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said the "alarming" reduction in banks and free ATMs "disproportionately impacts the lives of older people" who were less likely to use digital banking. He continued: "The extraordinary push by the banks to digital services leaves behind the 500,000 people in Scotland over the age of 60 who do not use the internet. That's the equivalent of the population of our capital city and is a staggering number of people to disenfranchise. What's more, with an ageing population in Scotland and the projected 50% increase in people living with dementia over the next 20 years, older people will find it harder and harder to manage their finances independently if face to face banking options have been eroded to the point of extinction..."

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