Cash crisis in Maybole

The Panel at the public meeting called by Maybole Community Council
The Panel at the public meeting called by Maybole Community Council

Maybole is facing a cash crisis this week even before the last bank in the town closes its doors.

For the past two Sundays the ATM machines in the town have been unable to dispense cash leading to fears that this will impact on the local economy.

The Carrick Gazette has also learned this week that the Bank of Scotland ATM will be removed when the bank closes in June this year.

Local residents and businesses fear that when the RBS building is sold the bank, which closed its doors last year, will remove its ATM.

Despite awful weather conditions and horizontal rain local residents attended a Maybole Community Council public meeting on Tuesday, February 16 to discuss the closure of the Bank of Scotland in Maybole.

At the meeting anger was voiced that Bank of Scotland did not talk to customers directly before announcing the closure especially after encouraging people to move to the bank when RBS closed last year.

Local residents praised the service they have received over the years from the local branch staff and believe there is no way they will get the same level of service at a larger branch in Ayr.

Corri Wilson MP, four local councillors and the community council, all present at the meeting, had all written seperately to the bank and Kay McCall, a director from the bank, had met with two representatives of the community council where they put the case against closure and explained future plans for Maybole which had always included having a bank in its regeneration programme.

Ms McCall was asked if it was likely that the bank might reconsider its decision and she replied that she felt it was very unlikely.

The meeting heard that the bank had given figures of only 27 people regularly using counter services which the community found hard to swallow particularly as the RBS had previously claimed 24.

Chairman of the meeting, community councillor, Mark Fletcher read out the letter that the community council had sent to the Bank of Scotland.

In the letter community council representatives made the case for the damaging effect this closure will have on the high street; the impact on the elderly; the distance factor and the cost to the environment using cars; implications of parking and fees in Ayr and the distance from bus stops to the bank in Ayr.

Community council representatives asked if the Bank of Scotland considered sharing building space, shorter hours and a reduced working week. They claimed they had and it wasn’t viable.

Community council representatives asked if the Bank of Scotland was aware of any plans to improve the high street post by-pass. They were unaware of anything happening or planned.

A spokesperson for Bank of Scotland said: ““As confirmed on 3 February, we have made the decision to close our Maybole branch. The branch will close on 15 June 2016, at which point the ATM will also be removed. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and have informed customers of the closest alternative branch, which is in Ayr. There are free ATMs available within a mile radius of the branch.”