Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Dean Lockhart has welcomed a banking boost as some rural ATMs handed a lifeline.
Communities across the Stirling area left devastated by bank and ATM closures could now be offered a lifeline by a new LINK scheme designed to keep crucial cash machines open.
LINK, the UK’s main ATM network have announced the establishment of a new ‘super premium’ which will be paid by banks to ATM operators in parts of the country where there is little coverage or in deprived areas.
Across Scotland, a total of 400 bank machines are eligible for the scheme which will begin in April 2019.
The Stirling Council area has lost many banks over the last few years with the RBS branch at Bannockburn the latest to have shut its doors.
The announcement of the scheme follows a Save Our Cashpoints campaign led by Dean Lockhart MSP in the Scottish Parliament and advocated by consumer organisation Which? and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
‘’At a time when bank closures increase across Scotland, so too does the reliance on free-to-use ATMs.
‘’Demand for cash remains high, especially in rural and deprived communities.
‘’I am therefore pleased that LINK have listened to pressure from parliamentarians and community representatives and are now encouraging banks to at least retain their ATM provision in areas which need it most.
‘’Communities across Stirling will welcome this small step in the right direction, however more needs to be done to ensure that the whole banking sector realises the importance of access to cash.’’