Turriff Councillor and MP Meet with Virgin Money over Bank Closures

>> 28 July 2023

A Turriff councillor is pushing for a Post Office BankHub to be opened in Turriff following a meeting with Virgin Money over its closure plans for the former Clydesdale Bank branch in the town.

Cllr Alastair Forsyth met with Virgin Money bosses at a meeting arranged by Gordon MP Richard Thomson, primarily to discuss Ellon Branch but recognising the impact the proposed closure of Turriff will have on Gordon constituents, particularly customers of the now closed Huntly Branch of the bank.


Commenting, Cllr Alastair Forsyth (SNP-Turriff and District) said:

“Since being elected in 2017 I have had many conversations with banking executives and regional managers and the mainstream media about Turriff banks closing. I said in 2017 that I foresaw closures accelerating to a point where it was likely that Turriff could have no High Street Banking. Regrettably this may come to fruition much sooner that I could have imagined.

“I have some serious concerns about the long-term future of the post offices in our towns. The Horizon scandal is not helping to inspire new entrants into the Post Office franchise.

“As a former employee of RBS, I have some experience regarding the reasons banks are closing. I believe that the banking industry have not handled closures well and are being seen to quit the High Street and its customers in favour of shareholders.

“Vacant banking premises are challenging and expensive to repurpose and I think it’s right that some consideration be given by departing banks to leaving a ‘legacy’ to the town, whatever form that might take.

“I am seeking a commitment that Turriff will have the facilities of a Post Office BankHub if the proposed exit by the last of the big four banks goes ahead.”

Commenting after the meeting, which was also attended by Ellon and District councillor Louise McAllister and Mid Formartine councillor Jenny Nicol, Richard Thomson MP said:

“Alastair made the point very strongly during the meeting that for the last one of the four high street banks to simply walk away from Turriff after well over 100 years in the community does a great disservice to Turriff.

“He is absolutely right to press for an assessment of whether a shared BankHub is viable, as has been done in other communities, but also an organisation which made over £595million before tax last year surely has some obligation to leave something behind in the communities which have contributed to its success over many years.”

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