MSP starts petition to keep bank open

MSP Colin Smyth

MSP Colin Smyth

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After the shock announcement last week that the Clydesdale Bank plans to close branches in Stranraer and Castle Douglas, a protest petition has been launched by a local MSP.

South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has brought forward a parliamentary motion against the closures.

The MSP, who has been campaigning for the local bank branches to stay, has today put forward a motion, and urged all MSP’s to support the campaign to keep the banks on the high streets.

The news comes as Clydesdale Bank announced the closure of 79 local branches across the country, including two in Dumfries and Galloway and a further two in Ayrshire. It now means that customers wanting to go into their local branches face a 50-mile round trip from Stranraer to Newton Stewart.

Mr Smyth said: “I am urging all MSP’s to support my motion to oppose the local branches closing. Having access to your local bank is vital, and expecting people to travel 50 miles to visit their bank is unacceptable.

“The people of Stranraer, Troon, Cumnock and Castle Douglas deserve better than that, and the High Street deserves better. We need businesses to support customers, not abandoning them.

“There will be a number of very unhappy customers that have been very loyal to Clydesdale Bank but now be thinking if it was worth it.

I want all MSP’s, regardless of party, to see the impact this will have on the people of these towns and band together to stop the closure.

“Anyone wanting to help the campaign can sign up at www.colinsmythmsp.com/saveourbanks.

“Alternatively, you can write to other MSP’s urging them to sign the motion and support the fight to save our banks.

“We need all the support we can get in order to reserves Clydesdale Bank’s decision to close local branches.”

The parliamentary motion reads: “That the Parliament condemns the proposed closure of the Clydesdale Bank’s Stranraer, Troon, Castle Douglas and Cumnock branches; notes the important role that it considers local bank branches play in rural communities; expresses deep concern that the closure of the branches will result in customers in the South of Scotland having to endure round trips of up to 50 miles to their nearest branches; expresses its sympathy to employees in the branches, whose jobs are now under threat, and calls on the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group to reconsider these closures.”