Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Ged Killen welcomed the Scottish Affairs Committee to Cambuslang for the launch of the committee’s Access to Cash in Scotland report on Thursday, August 29.
Ged was joined by committee chairman, Pete Wishart MP, as well as members of Cambuslang Community Council for the launch at the Cambuslang Institute.
The report comes after a rapid decrease in banking infrastructure in Scotland, and in people’s ability to access cash and other banking services.
The meeting was opened by John Bachtler, chairman of the Cambuslang Community Council, which had contributed to the report.
Those who had gathered for the event were told that a third of banks in Scotland have closed since 2010, and that 355 ATMs were withdrawn from service in 2018 alone.
“I was delighted to welcome the Scottish Affairs Committee to Cambuslang for the launch of the Access to Cash in Scotland report.
“Since being elected, I have been campaigning on this issue, and introduced a bill last year that proposed a review of the UK’s cash network and called for a ban on ATM charges.
“Access to cash is an important issue in communities throughout Scotland, and I am grateful for the support of Cambuslang Community Council who provided invaluable evidence to the committee on the impact bank and ATM closures can have on a town.
“Scotland has suffered proportionally more bank closures than the rest of the UK. The ridiculousness of the situation means there are now more free-to-use ATMs in the House of Commons than there is on Cambuslang Main Street.
“Areas such as Cambuslang seem to fall through the gaps. It is not rural or a large city, but it is still seriously affected by the closure of bank branches and ATMs.
“One lady at the meeting told us she attended the local Post Office to cash in a cheque as there was no bank for her to visit in Cambuslang.
“She was told she needed a pay-in envelope, and whilst provided with one on the day, she was informed that in future, she would need to travel to Rutherglen to the nearest bank and request one, before returning to the Post Office to cash the cheque – hardly sound logic!
“I think the scenario highlights that there is a place for banking facilities on our high street, and I very much welcome Link’s announcement yesterday (Thursday) that it will guarantee one free-to-use ATM on high streets throughout the UK.”
The Access to Cash in Scotland report can be found at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmscotaf/1996/1996.pdf