MID Scotland and Fife MSP, Claire Baker, is highly concerned of the impact bank branch closures will have on communities.

Lochgelly is set to lose its last bank branch in February while Cowdenbeath lost the RBS in 2017. The town only has two branches left the TSB and Bank of Scotland.

Kelty woman, Ms Baker, has spoken out in Parliament about the number of bank closures hitting the region.

At the start of December, it was announced that the Royal Bank of Scotland would be closing sixty-two branches in Scotland. This includes eight across the region; Aberfeldy, Alloa, Bridge of Allan, Comrie, Dunblane, Kinross, Perth and Pitlochry.

In March this year the bank also announced closures in Anstruther, Cowdenbeath, Cupar, Dalgety Bay, Kirkcaldy and Leven.

Bank of Scotland have also announced two rounds of bank closures this year, with the most recent coming in November. These included Alva, Bridge of Allan, Lochgelly and Stirling.

TSB have also announced closures over the course of the year, including Bridge of Allan, Cardenden, Dunblane and Lochgelly.

In total, Mid Scotland and Fife has lost 26 branches over the course of this year alone.

Speaking after the debate, Claire Baker MSP said: “The Royal Bank of Scotland used to say that it would not close the last bank in town. However, we can now see a whole host of towns and villages have lost all their High Street banks.

“Many of these branches, whether it was RBS, TSB, Clydesdale or Bank of Scotland, served rural communities and towns, and were often the main focal point of the high street and a vital source of employment.

“These banks also supported many local businesses that will now have to travel further afield to do their day to day business banking.

“For the region to have lost 26 banks in the course of one year is simply unacceptable. This will hit those who do not, or cannot, use internet banking the hardest.

“Many elderly customers largely rely on their local branch and there are still significant parts of the region struggling for internet access, with some parts in the bottom 20% of the UK for download speed.

“RBS and Bank of Scotland both must think again on their latest round of closures and save our local banks.”