HIE has commissioned Indigo House Group to undertake research into the social and economic importance of access to local banks in rural areas.
The study will consider access to banking services, and the potential impact that any changes in banking provision may have in communities in the Highlands and Islands. It will also seek to learn from other areas that have already experienced bank closures in Scotland and wider in the UK to understand what the impact of these closures have been, and to identify alternatives for local banking services.
The work will involve mixed method research of data analysis, stakeholder consultation and a survey to gather feedback from a broad range of individual households, businesses and community groups in areas expected to be affected by local branch closures.
Fieldwork is currently underway and individuals, businesses and community groups in Tongue, Wick, Kyle of Lochalsh, Mallaig, Aviemore, Grantown on Spey, Nairn, Inverness, Beauly, Tain, Rothesay, Campbeltown, Inveraray, and Castlebay are being asked to take part in the online survey. The surveys can be accessed below and will be open until Friday 27th April 2018.
Once finalised, the research findings will be published below.