Communities let down by banking changes.

Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West, Christine Jardine has criticised changes to the banking industry that could exclude up to half a million people over 60, as well as people in rural areas or without easy access to the internet.

By David Ronald Evans, Mar 28, 2019 3:03

Bank notes and coins.

Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West, Christine Jardine has criticised changes to the banking industry that could exclude up to half a million people over 60, as well as people in rural areas or without easy access to the internet.

Evidence given to the Scottish Affairs committee by groups representing consumers pointed to the various shortfalls of online banking, mobile banks and reliance on the Post Office.

The Committee took evidence from Sheena Boyd, Director of Scottish Rural Action, James Daley, Member of Access to Cash Review, Caroline Normand, Director of Advocacy at Which? and Derek Young, Policy Officer for Citizens Advice Scotland.

Figures produced by Age Scotland show that about 500,000 people over the age of 60 prefer to use cash and are unwilling to use other payment methods. Losing ATMs across Scotland disproportionately affects this group.

Following the committee Ms Jardine said: “To alienate 500,00 people by phasing out cash or making it hard to access would remove the equivalent of the entire City of Edinburgh from the economy.

“This only gets worse when you factor in those on low incomes or in rural areas who do not have access to broadband that would allow them to bank online.

“The move away from High Street banking and free to use ATMs risks leaving a lot of people behind and we need to think creatively about solutions.

“That is why Liberal Democrats have proposed plans to set up banking hubs, where banks could pool resources together and ensure services can remain open for those who need them most.

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