Jamie Halcro Johnston, Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has joined local Councillor James Allan (Heldon & Laich ward – Conservative) in warning about the impact on Lossiemouth of losing its last bank.
Earlier this year the Bank of Scotland, Lossiemouth’s last bank, announced that it was closing despite a campaign against the closure by local people.
The elected representatives’ warning follows the publication of a study by carried out by Cambuslang Community Council after three bank branches closed in the Lanarkshire town between 2016 and 2017. The study revealed that the closures worsened social exclusion and undermined government policies for town centre regeneration and led to people shopping elsewhere.
The survey was conducted for Cambuslang Community Council’s submission to the Scottish Affairs Committee on Access to Financial Services.
Jamie said: “Although Cambuslang and Lossiemouth are very different communities I am fearful that the loss of the last bank could generate similar negative outcomes.
“It is extraordinary that despite the huge investment being made in Lossiemouth by the UK Government through RAF Lossiemouth that we are seeing this disinvestment by the bank.
“James and other members of the community have done sterling work in fighting for a better future for Lossiemouth and I hope their efforts are crowned with success.
“The Cambuslang study should be a wake-up call for all those in a position to influence these decisions and I very much hope they heed the warnings.”
Councillor Allan said: “The community council has written to all the banks asking them to look again at Lossiemouth.
“We are a thriving town with a great future but this could be undermined by the loss of banking facilities including ATMs.
“We will continue to fight for our community come what may.”