THERE are widespread fears that elderly people will suffer most from the closure of the Lochgelly Bank of Scotland branch.

BoS announced at the end of last week that the Bank Street facility will be one of many branches nationally to go in February.

The Bank says that online and telephone banking is the main reason for the decision.

But Lochgelly Community Council, and local politicians, fear pensioners will bear the brunt of the decision.

Cowdenbeath MSP, Annabelle Ewing, said: “I was extremely disappointed to be informed by the Bank of Scotland that they have taken the decision to close their Lochgelly branch in February.

“It is the elderly and the disadvantaged who are the main users of branches and they are the very people who will find it hardest to either access these other forms of banking or to travel to the Cowdenbeath branch.

“This decision will be hard, too, on the staff I want to hear assurances from Bank of Scotland that there will be no compulsory redundancies”. The Community Council is stunned at the decision, said secretary Stevie Murray: “The first of us hearing of the closure was when local people contacted us about the letters they had received.

“This closure will impact on the drive to regenerate the town and there appears to be no consideration taken on how this will disproportionately effect elderly people in the town”.

Chair of Cowdenbeath Area Committee, Councillor Linda Erskine, agreed and said: “This means that we now have no bank branches in Cardenden, Benarty and Lochgelly and anyone who requires to visit a bank will have to travel.

“The bankers were quick enough to take public money to bail them out of their troubles when the financial crash happened. It’s a pity that they have not afforded consideration to those customers who all played a part in their bail out.”

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird said: “I will be writing to the Bank of Scotland asking for an urgent meeting to discuss this decision and the implications it will have for people in Lochgelly and nearby communities.”