Christina McKelvie SNP MSP, Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, has reacted angrily to a statement from the Bank of Scotland that it intends to close the last remaining bank branch in Stonehouse.

She said: “On receiving this news, I wrote immediately to Bank of Scotland seeking what I regard as an urgent meeting to discuss this decision.

“The Bank’s own impact assessment concedes that 71% of account holders use the Stonehouse branch. Just 16% of customers also use the Post Office which the Bank says will provide all the necessary banking facilities required in the area.”

The Bank argues that changes in how people do their banking has impacted on its decision. Many more people now bank on line. Nevertheless, it is not possible to withdraw or deposit money online.

“For many people, some with mobility issues, some who are a little older and don’t wish to travel to the next town, some who just enjoy the human contact with familiar and trusted staff at the bank, some who have neither the access or the understanding of online banking, are being ignored.

“Bank of Scotland must, certainly, behave in a competitive manner – but that cannot mean that profits are so much more important than people. The bank has a social responsibility as well as responsibilities to its shareholders and I will be emphasising at this meeting just how vital that role is.”