Local MSP Colin Smyth has warned that the High Street Bank could soon became a thing of the past for towns and villages across the South of Scotland, following the announcement by Santander that it intends to close 140 branches across the UK, including Troon and Lanark in South Scotland.

Commenting on the decision Colin Smyth said, “This is yet another bitter blow to banking customers and staff and I really do fear High Street banks could soon become a thing of the past for all towns and villages across the South of Scotland. My thoughts are very much with the staff who face losing their jobs and with so many banks closing, it makes it that bit more difficult for people to find alternative employment nearby”.

 “Their decision will mean customers will be also hugely inconvenienced. Santander customers who use the branch in Lanark will now find themselves having to travel out of the South of Scotland to get to their nearest in branches in Wishaw or Motherwell”.

“This is fourth bank to be axed in Troon in the last year and half, leaving the Bank of Scotland as the last one in the town. Local people will be shocked at the news knowing there has been a bank in Portland Street in Troon for decades now with Abbey National there before the Santander takeover”.

“I have urged Santander to reconsider these local closures. But we really do need to some action from the UK Government to stave off this banking crisis. They should change the law to make it more difficult to close the final branch in a town by giving the Financial Conduct Authority the powers to veto a bank closure. The Scottish Government could also do more by helping facilitate banking and local service hubs, where a range of services are provided in one place to lower costs for the organisations based at such a hub. Without action we will simply see more and more bank closures.”

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