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In February 2018, HIE commissioned Indigo House Group to undertake research into the social and economic importance of access to local banks in remote and rural areas.
The study considered 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 sought to learn from other areas that have already experienced bank closures to understand what the impact of these closures have been, and to identify what is required to support the future delivery of banking services in rural and remote areas.
The work involved mixed method research of data analysis, stakeholder consultation and a survey to gather feedback from a broad range of personal, businesses and community groups bank customers in areas expected to be affected by local branch closures.