Branch closures are the hardest thing about my job. It's always a very difficult decision to make but the way our customers bank with us has changed dramatically in the last five years and many of our branches just aren't as busy as they were. Earlier this year we made the difficult decision to close three branches in the Morayshire area. The branches had all seen a 30% drop in transactions and some of them had less than 25 regular customers. At the time of the closures we pledged to introduce a new mobile branch route to the area and on Friday we launched the new service.
Our new branch (named The Moray Rambler after a public vote) visits 19 different communities in the Morayshire area. Three of these are where we've closed branches but many of the other villages are places where we've never had a presence and who often have had no access to banking facilities.
I grew up in the local area and I know how much a service like this will mean to the local community. In these remoter parts of Scotland we're used to driving for miles to be able to do our banking. Hopefully by introducing The Moray Rambler, we'll be able to help make things a bit easier for our customers.