Committee invites evidence on access to financial services in Scotland

27 February 2019

The Scottish Affairs Committee follows up on its previous work on bank closures and ATM networks in Scotland by launching a short inquiry into access to financial services.

Purpose of the inquiry

Last year, the Scottish Affairs Committee held short inquiries into the ATM Network in Scotland and RBS branch closures. The Committee recommended that the Government do everything it can to reverse the wave of RBS bank closures to prevent adverse effects on local communities.  In this follow-up inquiry, the Committee will examine how access to financial services in Scotland has changed, and what impact ATM and bank closures have had on rural communities. The Committee will also consider whether access to alternative financial services, such as online banking, fill the gap created by the closure of physical banking facilities.

Chair's comments

Chair of the Committee, Pete Wishart MP, said:

“Last year my Committee heard about the devastating impact of dramatically reduced banking and cash withdrawal facilities in Scotland. We will now investigate the continued impact of this trend, whether alternative methods of accessing financial services are adequate and what the Government can do to address these issues.”

Calls for written submissions

The Committee is inviting written evidence on the following questions:

  • What challenges are there to accessing financial services in Scotland?
  • What impact have recent bank branch closures and the changes in ATM funding had on access to financial services in Scotland?
  • How practical are alternative methods of accessing financial services such as online banking or mobile branch banking?
  • What impact has reductions to the interchange fee had in Scotland? 
  •  How effective is the Financial Inclusion Programme at ensuring access to cash is available in more remote areas?
  • How effective have financial services regulators been in ensuring continued access to financial services in Scotland?
  • What consideration and planning has been made to minimise disruption, from the growth of digital financial services and increasingly digital payments marketplace?

The deadline for written evidence is 25 March 2019.

You can read more about how to submit written evidence here.

Further information

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