Over the course of last year, it was announced that Mid Scotland and Fife would lose 26 local bank branches.
The Royal Bank of Scotland announced the closure of 14 branches over the course of 2 rounds of closures. Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank and the TSB also announced the closures of 4 branches each.
Amongst the areas hit in the region are Alloa, Dunblane, Perth, Cowdenbeath, Kirkcaldy, Leven, Cupar, Bridge of Allan, and Lochgelly.
I spoke out against these closures during a debate in the Scottish Parliament. We will now see a whole host of towns and villages without high street banks.
Many of these branches serve rural communities and towns and are often the main focal point of the high street, along with being a vital source of employment. These banks also support many local businesses that will now have to travel further afield to do their day to day banking.
For the region to have lost 26 banks in the course of one year is simply unacceptable. This will hit those who do not, or cannot, use internet banking the hardest.
Many elderly customers largely rely on their local branch and there are still significant parts of the region struggling for internet access, with some parts in the bottom 20% of the UK for download speed.
RBS and Bank of Scotland both must think again on their latest round of closures and save our local banks.