Customer setback

Ross blasts bank for pulling mobile branches

Douglas Ross: ‘extremely disappointed’ (pic: Terry Murden DB Media Services)

Bank of Scotland is ending its mobile branch services in dozens of towns and villages across Scotland next year in a further blow to personal contact.

The bank has blamed low use of the vans that have been serving communities where branches have closed.

It is also closing another four bricks and mortar branches in Scotland, among 45 being closed across the UK by parent group Lloyds Banking Group, bringing the total number of high street branches closed across the sector to 623 so far this year.

On its mobile vans, Bank of Scotland says customer numbers have plummeted by 90% since 2018 with an average of 14 customers, and in some locations the vans have been visited by only two people. Most were using them to pay cash in or out – a service which is also provided at the Post Office.

By contrast the bank has more than 21 million customers regularly using its online banking services.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who is also MP for Moray, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision and accused the banks of being “out of touch with the needs of customers.”

He added: These services are vital for these communities who have already suffered from branch closures in the towns.

“Elderly and vulnerable people in particular continue to want access to banking services in their local area as they simply don’t use online banking.

“Connectivity also remains a major issue for many people living in rural and remote parts of Moray.”

A Bank of Scotland spokesperson said: “Customers have been using our mobile branches much less over time and some locations now have as little as two customers using the service.

“We’ll be introducing more community bankers, alongside the other options customers already have for their banking including the Post Office, online, our mobile apps, phone banking, video services and web chat. All colleagues will continue in roles across our business.”

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