MORAY COUNCIL WILL write to Clydesdale Bank chiefs appealing for a change of heart over plans to close two of their branches in Moray.
The chairman of the economic development and infrastructure services committee, independent councillor John Cowe, responded positively to a special motion by SNP councillors Pearl Paul and Sonya Warren.
Councillor Cowe pointed out the importance of Speyside was made to him in an exchange with Hugh Fraser from the Speyside Area Forum, who pointed out that outside the City of London geographical area, per head of population Speyside is likely to give more to the national exchequer than any other area in the UK.
The Heldon & Laich Councillor agreed that he would write to Clydesdale Bank to express the concerns of Moray Council over the proposed closures.
Following the meeting Councillor Paul, whose ward includes Aberlour where the last bank in Speyside stands, said: “The closure of the Clydesdale Bank branches in Aberlour and Buckie would be an absolute travesty for the local communities. I am pleased that the Committee has unanimously backed our motion opposing these closures and that the Committee Chair will take these concerns up directly with the Clydesdale Bank.
“For both of these branches the public transport alternatives involve at least two buses, and in some cases three, and would mean customers spending many hours travelling to and from the alternative branch in Keith.”
Councillor Warren added: “We are heading for a situation where the Clydesdale Bank will have reduced its branches from more than 10 to just two for the whole of Moray, serving a population of nearly 100,000 folk.
“With good prospects for economic growth in Buckie this makes no business sense to me whatsoever.
“The Clydesdale Bank say on their own website that they are responsive to the needs of their communities and that they are proud of their history. Yet they are clearly not listening to communities in Moray and are actively destroying their branch network.”