I AM VERY concerned about the proposed closure of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Tranent branch and have written to bank bosses requesting an urgent meeting to discuss this matter.

Local bank branches play a vital role for small businesses and local people looking to withdraw money, deposit cheques and use other banking services.

While there is a push towards becoming a ‘cashless society’, I believe that it is essential that those who prefer or are unable to use contactless methods of payment should have access to banking services within their local communities. These include those who are elderly or digitally excluded.

Banks are an incredibly important facility, particularly for those in need of a face-to-face discussion to access financial services.

East Lothian Courier: Royal Bank of Scotland in Tranent is due to close this summerRoyal Bank of Scotland in Tranent is due to close this summer (Image: Google Maps)

This closure will leave Tranent, East Lothian’s second-largest town, without a bank, and Musselburgh as the only town in the west of the county with any banking services.

East Lothian is one of Scotland’s fastest-growing areas, with a population increase of nearly 10,000 people over the past 10 years.

This is despite the closure of many services including Longniddry’s satellite GP practice, North Berwick’s Edington Cottage Hospital and Prestonpans Royal Bank of Scotland branch in 2016.

I firmly believe that, as our communities grow, local services should keep pace with rising demands instead of being reduced or closed as is happening in Tranent.

I will continue to do all that I can to ensure that services like the local bank branches and public services such as GP facilities are not lost over the coming years.

On your behalf, I have reached out to RBS and East Lothian Council to push for the retention of the branch and the retention of essential services across the county.

We cannot allow these to be lost.