THE Innerleithen community are uniting in a bid to reverse the decision to close the town’s Bank of Scotland branch.

Lloyds Banking Group announced it would be shutting the doors at 60 sites across the UK last month.

Among those set to close are the branches in Innerleithen and Selkirk.

The lack of consultation over the move has caused anger and disappointment in the town, according to the community council.

And the group’s chairman, Marshall Douglas, has launched a petition pleading for a rethink on the bank’s decision.

The online appeal has so far attracted around 170 signatures, with locals voicing concerns over isolation and an ageing population accessing online banking if the closure goes ahead.

Tweeddale MP David Mundell, who has previously slammed Lloyds Banking Group’s decision as “cynical”, said he is not surprised that the community has acted.

“It comes as no surprise to me that local people are taking the step of petitioning the Bank of Scotland in a bid to change the bank’s mind and save the Innerleithen branch,” said the Conservative MP.

“I fully support the aims of this petition and forcibly made the case for keeping the Innerleithen branch open when I met face to face with representatives of the bank last week.”

The Innerleithen site is currently due to close on August 4, with Lloyds stating that fewer customers are visiting branches as online banking becomes more and more popular.

And it looks as though locals face a tough fight to keep the bank open, with personal customer transactions falling by 40 per cent between 2016 and 2020, and a further 25 per cent between 2020 and 2021.

A Bank of Scotland spokesperson: “Just like many other high street businesses, fewer customers are choosing to visit our branches. Our branch network is an important way for us to support our customers, but we need to adapt to the significant growth in customers choosing to do most of their everyday banking online.

“When our Innerleithen branch closes, customers can continue to bank with us at the local Post Office, and access cash via free-to-use ATMs nearby.”

The spokesperson added that the nearest post office “is a short walk on Peebles Road and we will be speaking to customers to let them know about the services they offer”.

The nearest free-to-use ATM can be found at the Co-operative Food store.