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MP and MSP raise concerns with bank bosses over Ellon branch closure

By David Porter

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Gordon MP Richard Thomson and Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin have met with the TSB’s Stuart Gray, regional director for Scotland and Andrew McIntyre, senior communications manager, Scotland, for talks over proposals to close its branch in Ellon.

Mr Thomson and Ms Martin sought a meeting with the bank after it announced it would be pulling out of Ellon on April 19.

The MP and MSP sought a review of the closure decision but TSB regional director Mr Gray confirmed the bank has no plans to reverse its decision, pointing to the reduced footfall for the reason behind the closure.

Other matters raised included the possibility of a ‘pop-up’ service and the future use of the bank building.

Ellon TSB faces closure in April
Ellon TSB faces closure in April

Commenting Richard Thomson MP said: "Plans to close the TSB branch in Ellon will be a blow for those customers directly affected in the area.

“While I was pleased the bank met with us to discuss their plans for Ellon, it was clear that they are determined to press ahead with the closure of the local branch.

"I am becoming increasingly convinced that the answer to this wholesale withdrawal of banks from local communities is shared banking hubs. Pilot schemes are underway and seem to be showing some promise and this is certainly something which should be considered.”

”The UK Government needs to keep on top of the rolling closures of high street banks in the North-east and throughout the country and what this means for citizens and businesses outside of the major cities.”

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin added: “TSB tell me that customers are changing the way they bank and that the majority are now using online or telephone banking, and that changes in banking behaviour have been accelerated due to the pandemic.

"However, I remain concerned about the impact closure will have on those who aren’t able to bank online or don’t have access to digital banking – there’s a real danger that banks are leaving many of their customers behind.

“Over the last few years communities across the north-east have been abandoned by the banks and sadly it is the most vulnerable people in our communities who are worst affected – many of whom are unable to travel to access services elsewhere.”

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