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Bank of Scotland to now axe its mobile banking services in Badenoch and Strathspey

By Gavin Musgrove

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Not content with axing their branches, the Bank of Scotland is now to stop running its mobile banking services in Badenoch and Strathspey from next Spring.

Bank bosses have announced that mobile branch services that visit Kingussie and Grantown will end on May 28, next year,

They said that their decision follows 'an in-depth review'.

Mobile bank visits are being slashed in many other parts of the Highlands and Scotland by the company.

The bank van currently calls in at Kingussie's Duke of Gordon and at the Burnfield Avenue car park in Grantown.

Figures revealed by the Bank of Scotland show that in both cases a significant proportion of people who use the services are aged over 75.

The bank will barely have a presence in the strath from next spring – it announced earlier this year that it was to axe its Aviemore branch which is the only bank left in the whole of Badenoch and Strathspey.

The Bank of Scotland has been a long time presence in the centre of Aviemore.
The Bank of Scotland has been a long time presence in the centre of Aviemore.

Bosses have said that a community banker will be available in Grantown but that will not be the case in Kingussie.

A community banker has also been touted for Aviemore when the village branch closes some time next May.

The bank stated in documents accompanying the latest cuts to the Moray route and Inverness Longman route: "We’ve been looking at how customers are using our mobile branches.

"Many are using them less and choosing other ways to bank instead. Because of this we’ve made the decision to end this service.

"This includes all the stops on this route.

"We’re still here to support you and there’s a number of ways you can do your everyday banking with us – online, on your mobile, over the phone or at a Post Office.

"You can also use a branch."

But that is nonsense according to Highlands regional MSP Jamie Halco Johnston who has slammed the decision to end its mobile branch services in dozens of towns and villages across Scotland next year.

The Scottish Conservative MSP said: "These closures reflect a worrying trend which has seen a downgrading or removal of important rural services, one which risks driving people away from our rural and more remote communities.

"As the closure of bank branches have already had, the loss of mobile bank services will have further far-reaching impacts on small communities, damaging not only the accessibility of essential banking services but also severing a vital link that connects older and more vulnerable members with the wider community.

"Banks must consider the significant challenges that many of our older citizens, and others who may not be familiar with the complexities of the internet, will now encounter in being left to manage their financial affairs without access to even a mobile service.

“Before these decisions are taken and services are cut, we need to see proper dialogue and consultation between the banking sector and local communities on how to deliver a service which meets communities needs.

“At the moment, decisions seem to seem to be prioritising the savings banks can make over the impact their cuts have on residents and local businesses."

More on this story to follow.

Where have all the banks gone?

The last standing bank branch in Badenoch and Strathspey is to close its doors next Spring.

The Bank of Scotland in the centre of Aviemore is to shut for good in May signalling the end of High Street banking in the strath.

The decision leaves the strath without any dedicated branch, and is the culmination of a series of branch closures which have hit the area since the mid 2010s.

The RBS closed its two branches – in Aviemore and Grantown – more than fives years ago.

At that time Grantown had three branches on the High Street with also a Bank of Scotland and TSB

Bank of Scotland bosses have said they will continue to provide a limited facility in Aviemore with a 'community banker' and a new 'deposit solution' will be trialled.

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