Moray MP Douglas Ross has held a “positive” meeting with LINK over future access to cash and banking services in Forres.
Douglas secured the meeting with senior officials from the company after consistently raising concerns over the Bank of Scotland’s plans to close their branch in the town as of next month.
That will leave Forres without a branch, with Bank of Scotland transferring customers to Nairn, further away than the nearest branch in Elgin.
The meeting saw Douglas meet with LINK’s Chief Commercial Officer Adrian Roberts as well as Ian Vernon from the company. Cat Farrow from Access to Cash was also in attendance.
Douglas discussed various options as to how Forres residents and businesses will be guaranteed access to cash going forward, with the option of a banking hub still being on the table, as has been piloted elsewhere in communities where the last branch has been closed.
He says he will continue to liaise with LINK and explore every avenue to reassure those living and working in Forres that access to cash will still be on their doorstep.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “This was a crucial and positive meeting. Having access to cash and banking services is of the utmost importance in communities like Forres.
“The attitude of the Bank of Scotland since they announced the closure of their branch in Forres has been a disgrace. That is why I was keen to relay my serious concerns to LINK about the prospects of getting cash for residents and businesses in Forres.
“The meeting was fruitful and explored many options as to how these services can be maintained going forward, even when the Bank of Scotland leave the area and their loyal customers.
“The idea of a banking hub is one I am keen to explore and I will be interested to see what LINK’s research that they are going to carry out will come back with.
"At the moment Forres does not qualify for one according to the criteria being looked at at present, but that can change and I know the needs of people and businesses in Forres will only increase when the final bank branch closes its doors.
“I will continue to liaise with LINK and any other interested parties at every opportunity to safeguard access to cash in Forres and across Moray, even if major banks have now shamefully abandoned these communities.
"We agreed that I will meet again with LINK in a months time to see what progress has been made by then and I am encouraged there are some options on the table that I am determined to explore for the town."