Moray MP Douglas Ross has said that the fight to prevent bank closures in Lossiemouth and Keith will continue after he met three senior representatives from Lloyds Banking Group, the parent company of the Bank of Scotland, in Elgin earlier today (Friday 7th December).
The meeting which was also attended by Richard Lochhead MSP, representatives of the local business community, and members of Lossiemouth and Keith community councils, followed public meetings chaired by Douglas in both towns.
The meeting also followed an intervention by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson who called on the Bank of Scotland to reverse its plans to close the Lossiemouth branch – the last bank in the town – in the light of the massive investment in RAF Lossiemouth which will generate greater demand for local banking services.
Douglas said: “I was very disappointed when the bank refused to send representatives to the public meetings to listen first-hand to local people. However, I was at least able to represent their views at today’s meeting. Everyone present made the case to the bank that the closure of their branches in Keith and Lossiemouth is a betrayal of their responsibility to provide a national service across Scotland.
“I reiterated the Defence Secretary’s call to save the last bank in Lossiemouth. It seems an act of folly to pull out of a community which is about to be boosted by a massive investment which will generate substantial demand for their services.
“Just ahead of the meeting the Bank of Scotland responded to my initial letter to them following the announcement, basically saying they have made this decision and they are not going to change their minds. It’s ridiculous they felt able to say that before even listening to community and business representatives.
“I am in no doubt that they were left with a very strong message that these banks are hugely important to both Lossiemouth and Keith and the bank should recognise and change their decision to close these two branches.”
The Lloyds Banking Group representatives David Martin and Patrick Leavey indicated that they would consider the points made at the meeting.