Date lodged: 24 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it can take to support (a) rural communities and (b) vulnerable or older people in light of the proposed closure of Clydesdale Bank branches, including in the Aberdeenshire East constituency.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 1 February 2017
The regulation of banking remains reserved to Westminster and the Scottish Government cannot directly compel banks to maintain a branch presence where they have taken the commercial decision to close.
Clydesdale Bank, and other banks who are closing branches in in Aberdeenshire and across Scotland, must take into account the needs of all customers, particularly those in vulnerable groups who may not be able to access digitally delivered services and who continue to rely on physical branches and face to face provision of banking services.
We encourage the banks to engage in genuine consultation with local communities as they consider the future shape and size of their branch networks and to consider any alternative, reasonable solutions put forward by stakeholders where they can do so.