Owen Thompson MP with Colin Beattie MSP and Councillors Margot Russell and Jim Bryant at Clydesdale Bank Dalkeith – photo courtesy Edinburgh Evening News

Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian, has expressed his disappointment and concern over the proposed closure of Clydesdale Bank’s Dalkeith branch – their only branch in his Midlothian constituency.

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks announced on 18 January the closure of 79 branches across the UK with the loss of over 400 jobs.  Clydesdale Bank then confirmed to Mr. Thompson by email that the Dalkeith branch will be included in the 39 branches closed in Scotland.  Customers of the Dalkeith branch are to be advised that their accounts will be transferred to the Musselburgh branch, 5 miles away.

Owen Thompson MP said:

“It is disappointing to hear of the proposed closure of the Clydesdale Bank branch in Dalkeith, which will leave my Midlothian constituency without any Clydesdale branches and will impact on its customers in Dalkeith and beyond.

“I accept that many customers choose to bank via telephone, internet or mobile banking, so the location of their nearest physical branch is not normally important to them.  Midlothian residents who choose to use Clydesdale counter services are free to use any branches of the Clydesdale, and will have access to some banking services at the local Post Office.

“However, we must remember that not everyone has the means or capability to bank using computers or phones.  And many customers prefer – or indeed need – personal interaction with their bank, and should have the options to use counter services without having to journey to East Lothian to do so.  With 3 other Lothians branches scheduled for closure, they are even limited in their options in central Edinburgh
“In addition, this will have a detrimental impact on local businesses who bank with the Clydesdale and who deserve good access to counter services as much as their urban counterparts.”

“I will be writing to the Clydesdale Bank to express my very serious concerns over this closure and its effect on the local community of which it is a vital part.  I will be urging them to reconsider this decision as a matter of urgency, and to address how their business transformation can best support the continued operation of local branches, which are vital to sectors of so many Scottish constituencies including my own.”