Bank closures: impact on local businesses, consumers and the Scottish economy


About the Inquiry


Photo © Thomas Nugent (cc-by-sa/2.0)

According to official figures, the number of bank branches across Scotland reduced by a third between 2010 and 2017. The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee held a short inquiry with the following remit:

To examine the impact of bank branch closures in Scotland on local businesses, consumers and the Scottish economy and to explore what steps can be taken to address any issues identified by the Committee.

The Committee wanted to hear the views and experiences of as many people, businesses and organisations as possible. 



The Committee issued a call for written views. The closing date for submissions was Friday 13 April 2018.


The Committee launched an online survey. The survey closed on Friday 16 March. A summary of the responses can be found here:

Focus Groups

The Committee held focus groups in Mintlaw, Dalmellington and Leven. The notes for these focus groups can be found here:

As part of the Dalmellington focus group, Jeane Freeman MSP provided supporting correspondence:

Decision-Making Process

Ahead of the evidence session, the Convener wrote to the banks that were invited to give evidence on 19 June 2018 to ask them to provide background information on the decision-making processes around bank closures.

After the evidence session, the Committee wrote to the banks to ask about the number of branch buildings that are currently empty, have been sold and still leased pending return to the building owner.

On 30 August 2018, the Committee wrote to the banks, LINK and the Post Office to seek a written response to the findings and recommendations in the Committee's Report. 


The Committee wrote to the Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee on 26 September 2018.


The Committee published its report on 3 July 2018.

Bank closures: impact on local businesses, consumers and the Scottish economy

The Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy responded on 17 September 2018.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury responded on 17 September 2018.

On 10 December 2019 the Committee held a follow-up session on bank closures, taking evidence from:

Dr Pete Cheema OBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Grocers Federation;
Andrew Cregan, Head of Payments Policy, British Retail Consortium;
Barry McCulloch, Senior Policy Advisor, Federation of Small Businesses;
Paul McBain, Non-Executive Director, National Federation of Sub-Postmasters;
Richard Cooper, EVP - International Product and Marketing, Cardtronics UK;
Peter McNamara, Chief Executive Officer, NoteMachine UK Ltd;
Adrian Roberts, Chief Commercial Officer, Link;
Eric Leenders, Managing Director, Personal Finance, UK Finance, and
Martin Kearsley, Director of Banking, Post Office.

Citizens Advice Scotland provided a briefing paper.

On 10 December 2019, Cambuslang Community Council wrote to the Committee with its submission to the Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry on Access to Cash.

On 8 January 2020 Which? followed up on the Committee's invitation to provide a response. The Post Office responded on 29 January 2020.

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