Don’t be banking on extra time

Bellshill branch of Airdrie Savings Bank is due to close at the end of April
Bellshill branch of Airdrie Savings Bank is due to close at the end of April

Relatives are being urged to act now to ensure elderly customers don’t lose out when a bank closes next month.

Airdrie Savings Bank will shut its remaining branches, including one in Bellshill, when it ceases trading after more than 180 years.

Now a Motherwell law firm has raised concerns that infirm or incapacitated customers might not have access to money in their accounts before the closing date.

Mark Lunny, of Lunny and Company, said he has been approached by clients and other solicitors about the implications of closure.

The worry is that people will run out of time to transfer their money to another bank.

Mr Lunny said the perception is that Airdrie Savings Bank has a higher proportion of elderly customers than other banks.

Concerns surround infirm people who can manage their own affairs but cannot get out to a bank to set up a new account and those who do not have the mental capacity to manage their affairs.

An infirm person can instruct a solicitor to set up a Power of Attorney which would give another person authority to close the Airdrie account and set up a new one elsewhere.

In relation to an incapacitated person, there are a number of steps that can be taken by relatives wishing to take over management of bank affairs.

Mr Lunny said: “We have raised our concerns directly with the bank and with North Lanarkshire Council because to take steps to ensure access to your bank or the account of a relative or loved one people need to act now.”

The Motherwell firm has more information about the various processes on its website, www.lunny.co.uk.