Individuals, businesses and community groups in and around 14 communities in the
Highlands and Islands have an extra two weeks to take part in an online survey on
rural banking services.
The survey was launched following the RBS announcement of a wave of closures which
is set to affect Castlebay. Opening hours are also being slashed at the Lochboisdale
Among other things, the survey asks about the importance of being able to withdraw
and deposit cash locally, experiences of using Post Office and mobile banking services,
and the perceived impacts of local branch closures.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) commissioned Indigo House Group to carry out
the work as part of a wider study into the social and economic importance of access
to local banks.
The survey is gathering feedback, particularly in areas where local banks are expected
More than 400 responses have already been submitted. To give time for more responses,
HIE has extended the initial survey closing date to Friday 27 April.
Carroll Buxton, HIE’s director of regional development, said:“The survey has attracted
a great deal of attention and we have received many responses. However, we recognise
many people interested in completing the survey may not have had time to do so due
to the Easter break.
“It is important for us to fully understand, from those directly affected, how important
rural banking services are, and to look at how else these services might be provided,
particularly in the context of rural branch closures.
“The findings of this study will help inform how we and our partners go about helping
communities achieve their ambitions for growth and resilience.”
In addition to the online survey, the wider banking study will learn from other areas
that have already experienced bank closures in Scotland and wider in the UK. It will
examine the impact of these closures, and seek to identify alternatives for local