TWO Borders politicians have criticised a move to close a mobile banking service operating in the Borders.

From May 31, 2024 the Bank of Scotland mobile banking service which operates in Lauder, Newtown St Boswells, Coldstream, and Wooler, will no longer be available to customers.

Borders politicians have described the move as "unacceptable".

John Lamont MP said: "This is a shocking and unacceptable decision from the Bank of Scotland.

"Withdrawing vital services from so many places across the Borders will have a damaging impact on vulnerable and older people who rely on local access to cash.

"I have requested an urgent meeting to request that this shameful move does not go ahead."

MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire Rachael Hamilton, added: “The closure of mobile banks in vital locations in the Borders is extremely worrying.

“It will leave many older and vulnerable people without access to essential banking services. Businesses also need access to cash services.

“It is baffling and wrong that the service is being withdrawn when two in five people who use the mobile branch do not use internet or telephone banking.

“It is simply unacceptable that the nearest bank for residents in Newtown will be in Galashiels and people in Coldstream will need to go to Kelso.

“Banks need to treat people in rural areas better.”

The decision has come after the Bank of Scotland said the number of customers using the mobile branch have "fallen significantly" in recent years.

A Bank of Scotland spokesperson said: “As many customers now choose to bank online or through their mobile app, visits to our mobile bank branch have fallen significantly over recent years. 

"The local Post Office offers everyday banking, with cash also available at close by free-to-use ATMs, alongside other ways to bank such as online, phone and mobile banking services.”

According to Bank of Scotland figures, 60 per cent of customers who use the mobile service also make use of other Bank of Scotland branches, online and telephone banking services.

And 55 per cent of customers on the Kelso route also use banking services with the Post Office.

Bank of Scotland staff will be available to offer advice to customers on how they will be able to continue banking once the mobile branch closes next year.