The TSB has told Richard Lochhead that the branch in Forres will close, despite his concerns over the impact on local residents.
The MSP met with the TSB’s Branch Distribution Director for Scotland, Carol Anderson, and Stuart Gray, Regional Director for Scotland, for talks over proposals to close its branch in Forres.
Mr Lochhead sought a meeting with the bank after it announced plans to pull out of Forres last week, leaving the town with just one remaining bank.
He made the case for the branch to remain open but TSB’s Director confirmed the bank has no plans to reverse its decision, pointing to the reduced footfall as the reason behind the closure.
Commenting Richard Lochhead MSP said: “Plans to close the TSB branch in Forres will be a blow for those customers directly affected in the area and will leave the town with just one remaining bank.
“While I was pleased the bank met with me to discuss their plans for Forres, it was clear that they are determined to press ahead with the closure of the local branch.
“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. I am however 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 in Moray 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.
“Here in Moray we’ve had more than our fair share of bank closures and there is a real frustration locally that we’re getting to a point where most banks only have a high street branch in Elgin.
”The UK Government needs to keep on top of the rolling closures of high street banks in Moray and throughout the country and what this means for citizens and businesses outside of the major cities.”