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Council Opposes Bank Merger (18/12/08)
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Michael Foxley has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the First Minister to highlight concerns on how the proposed merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS could have on communities across Scotland.
On 18 September 2008 Lloyds TSB reached an agreement to acquire Halifax Bank of Scotland and Lloyds are now in the process of completing this acquisition. The proposed merger expected to be completed before the end of January 2009.
At a meeting of the Council held on 30 October members agreed that the Council expresses concern about the implications for jobs, the local branches and the wider economy from the merger and highlights the need for the banks to consider ways these interests can be protected.
Councillor Michael Foxley said: “The letters I have written on behalf of the Council express our strong concerns about the proposed merger and in them I have urged the Chancellor and First Minister to look at whether other options can still be considered which will enable the retention of a separate, viable and well founded HBOS and Lloyds TSB.
“We are very concerned that the merger will have a detrimental impact on the banking provision across the Highlands especially within the many vulnerable and remote rural communities where banking facilities are already limited.
“The potential loss of employment which could occur is another important matter, particularly in the many rural and fragile communities in the Highlands were it will be difficult to absorb such losses, especially during this economic downturn.
“We need to retain local decision making to provide support for local businesses and housing associations. We also intend to have meetings with our current bankers, the Clydesdale Bank, to strengthen their obligation to work with and support local businesses.”