Angus MacDonald welcomes new Falkirk branch of Airdrie Savings Bank

New branch first outside of Lanarkshire base in 175-year history

AIRDRIE Savings Bank will open its first branch outside of Lanarkshire in its 175-year history this week in Falkirk.

Stagecoach boss Sir Brian Souter, who has invested in the bank, will officially open the branch on September 22 alongside bank president Robert Boyle.

The UK's last remaining independent bank is creating five new jobs, including new manager Shirley Reid, at the new Falkirk branch.

Airdrie Savings Bank currently operates seven branches employing around 100 people with 60,000 account holders and deposits of £120 million.

It recently announced plans to expand, based on its traditional banking model which reinvests profits into the business rather than paying out dividends to shareholders.

That won the support of some of the biggest names in Scottish business who collectively invested £10 million in the bank to help it meet its expansion plans.

Investors include Brian Souter and fellow Stagecoach founder Ann Gloag, merchant banker Sir Angus Grossart, metals and property tycoon Sir David Murray and tyre-fitting entrepreneur Sir Tom Farmer.

angus1Angus MacDonald MSP (Falkirk East) who is a member of the Scottish Parliament's Economy Committee and was instrumental in attracting the bank to Falkirk in his previous role as the SNP’s Economic Development spokesperson warmly welcomed the bank to Falkirk district saying:

“The move is the first stage of an expansion plan that will see Airdrie Savings Bank open further branches across the country.

“Following the planned expansion announcement from the bank last year I immediately arranged a meeting with senior bank officials including General Manager Jim Lindsay, Falkirk Council’s Economic Development officials and Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson to encourage Airdrie Savings Bank to consider opening a branch in Falkirk District as part of their expansion plans.

“Given Falkirk district’s close proximity to the bank’s current area of operation in Lanarkshire, I was hopeful a move to a neighbouring area such as Falkirk would be uppermost in the bank’s expansion plans. Similar demographics to the banks current area of operation were also an attraction, as was the strong support for small to medium sized businesses in Falkirk district.”

“In addition, given the dismal performance of our national banks, and their continued refusal to fully engage with local businesses, I am sure businesses and individuals the length and breadth of Falkirk District will welcome a branch of the Airdrie Savings Bank, which represents what Scottish banks once stood for – security of funds, a focus on savings and outstanding personal service.”

“I am absolutely delighted that Airdrie Savings Bank has decided to open their first ever branch outside Lanarkshire here in Falkirk District

“It is refreshing to see a bank, particularly a local bank, engage positively with the business community. It is even more refreshing to see a bank which still holds on to its traditional values, which are testament to the Bank’s survival during these turbulent economic times.

“I hope the residents of Falkirk district will make the most of having such a principled, customer focused bank on their doorstep, and I look forward to the official opening of the bank on Thursday.”

Airdrie Savings Bank was established in 1835 as a mutual as part of the “thrift” movement and even today allows accounts to be opened with a deposit of only 5p.

The expansion is being supported by a group of high profile Scottish business figures including Brian Souter, Ann Gloag, Ewan Brown, Alastair Salvesen and Sir Tom Farmer.

Their disillusionment with the UK banking sector led the group to come together to deposit large sums to support the growth of Airdrie Savings Bank, encouraged by its commitment to traditional banking values.

Airdrie Savings Bank currently has seven branches across Lanarkshire and employs almost 100 people.

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Angus MacDonald MSP for Falkirk East celebrates the opening of the ASB branch in Falkirk on Thursday with (l to r) ASB President Bob Boyle, SNP Group Leader Councillor David Alexander, Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald, Philanthropist and SNP supporter Sir Brian Souter and Councillor Tom Coleman, member of Falkirk Council’s Economic Strategy & Development Committee.

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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