Bank of Scotland have been urged to reconsider the closure of its Carluke branch following a meeting with local representatives.
Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley, Clydesdale MSP Màiri McAllan and Councillor David Shearer (Clydesdale West) met with the bank yesterday to convey concerns raised by constituents.
Bank of Scotland is the last bank in Carluke – the biggest town in Clydesdale – and in recent years the branch has acted as a satellite for customers in rural communities across Clydesdale.
Concerns for vulnerable customers who may not be able to travel to Lanark or Wishaw were raised while disappointment was conveyed to Bank of Scotland over the lack of consultation prior to the announcement and the use of customer data from during the Covid-19 pandemic to justify the decision.
Businesses in Carluke may also be at risk if they are no longer able to bank in the town.
In the days since the decision, the feeling in Carluke has been captured by a petition started by Clydesdale MSP Màiri McAllan which has already received 700 signatures.
The bank was also asked to consider alternatives to closing the branch such as moving premises or introducing a mobile branch.
Commenting, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley said:
“I would again urge Bank of Scotland to reconsider their decision to close its Carluke branch as it is simply not good enough to have a town the size of Carluke left without a bank.
“Failing that, Bank of Scotland must consider alternatives to closure including the provision of a mobile branch to ensure there are still adequate banking services provided in the town.
“I am grateful to Bank of Scotland for agreeing to meet with us today and I will continue to work to find a resolution that works for the people of Carluke.”
Clydesdale MSP Màiri McAllan added:
“That no consultation by Bank of Scotland was carried out prior to this decision with the community – nor any alternatives to closure considered – is very disappointing.
“As local representatives for the area, we strongly presented the case for retaining the branch in the town, and implored Bank of Scotland to reconsider a mobile or pop-up facility if this can help protect at least some service.
“We also await the detail of what Bank of Scotland say has been their assessment that led to this decision.
“For Clydesdale’s largest town, it is simply not good enough to be left without any bank. As the 700 signatures to our petition demonstrated, the branch is a much-valued service within Carluke. Myself and my colleagues will continue to press the case to Bank of Scotland for a better outcome.”
Cllr David Shearer (Clydesdale West) said:
“I would ask the bank of Scotland to consult with the community and find a solution that serves the town and not just a hard business decision which meets the banks need.”