Gordon Macdonald MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands led a delegation of local councillors, members of Currie Community Council and representatives of the local business community in a meeting with the Edinburgh Director of the Bank of Scotland to discuss the proposed closure of its Currie branch.
The branch is due to close on the 2nd of November and this was an opportunity for those present to highlight their concerns directly to the senior management of the bank regarding the impact on residents and small businesses.
Mr MacDonald is angry at the decision, commenting “Banks are an integral part of our community and it is disappointing that despite representations about the adverse impact on the local community, the Bank of Scotland still intends to proceed with the closure. It was the taxpayers who bailed-out the banks after the banking crash of 2008; is this the way the banks thank the local community?”
Bank officials conceded that the branch was “a busy enough wee unit”, that it had, on average, 4,400 transactions per month and that there were other branches that are not as profitable that will remain open.
Mr Macdonald noted, “I also understand that the bank has a freehold over the property and that it would likely attract a lot of interest when it is put on the open market. 11% of the account holders at the branch do not bank anywhere else and will be left high and dry due to the closure.”
At the end of an hour long discussion the bank was asked to supply its impact assessment on the closure, which is required by the British Bankers Association.