The Scottish Affairs Committee opens its inquiry into access to financial services with a session focusing on the impact of closures of ATMs and banks, hearing from consumer groups such as Which? and Citizens Advice. The Committee will also be hearing from a representative from the Access to Cash Review.
Widespread closure of bank branches and free ATMs has been reported across Scotland. Scotland has seen 399 bank branch closures largely from RBS, Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale since 2015. Additionally, within the last year, 290 standalone cash machines in Scotland have been withdrawn, the majority of which were free-to-use ATMs. The Scottish Affairs Committee is holding an inquiry into the impact of reduced access to financial services.
In this opening session, the Committee will hear from consumer groups Which?, Citizens Advice and Scottish Rural Action as well as a member of the Access to Cash Review on the impact these closures are having on communities and businesses across Scotland, and which areas have been most affected. The Committee will ask whether alternative banking and cash withdrawal facilities, such as the Post Office, are adequate to fill the gap created by closure of banking facilities.
The Scottish Affairs Committee published a report on RBS bank closures in May 2018 in which it argued that the Royal Bank of Scotland had singularly failed to appreciate the damage their closure programme will inflict on many communities across Scotland.
Tuesday 26 March 2019, Committee Room 18, Palace of Westminster
- Sheena Boyd, Director, Scottish Rural Action
- James Daley, Member, Access to Cash Review
- Caroline Normand, Director of Advocacy, Which?
- Derek Young, Policy Officer, Citizens Advice Scotland