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Brian Souter Top Business Names Support Expansion Scotlands Last Independent

Friday, 27 August 2010

A group of Scotland's leading businessmen have come together to support the expansion of Airdrie Savings Bank outside of its Lanarkshire homeland.

The list includes Brian Souter, Ewan Brown, Alastair Salvesen, Sir Tom Farmer, Ann Gloag, Sir Angus Grossart, Sir David Murray and DC Thomson & Co Ltd.

The plan to create at least one, and possibly two new branches over the next 18 months, comes as the bank celebrates its 175th birthday.

In addition, Airdrie Savings Bank is looking at developing an account-opening network in Scottish towns and cities where there is a proven demand for its services. The bank has also been investing in internet banking as a platform to support expansion.

Bob Boyle, president of Airdrie Savings Bank said: "The trustees are delighted that so many prominent Scottish business figures have come forward to back our ambitions to expand. Several are supporting us through a combination of deposits and borrowings.

"Airdrie Savings Bank, as you would expect, is approaching expansion with caution. We will dip our toe in the water by opening one branch at a time to prove the sustainability of growth before considering more ambitious plans."

Brian Souter said "Airdrie Savings Bank represents what Scottish banks once stood for - security of funds, a focus on savings and outstanding personal service.

"We aim to bring this traditional blend to the people of Scotland by supporting the bank's development as we believe the mutual principle is fundamental to the integrity of the bank.

"We are doing this because so many Scots are dismayed at what has happened within the banking sector."

The group anticipates widespread interest from individuals and businesses across Scotland in opening accounts with Airdrie Savings Bank - Scotland's last independent bank.

The location of the first additional branch is still to be determined but Jim Lindsay, general manager of Airdrie Savings Bank, said the choice will be influenced by local demand.

He commented: "We are considering a number of locations but we would obviously like to open our first branch outside of Lanarkshire in a town or city where local people and businesses would welcome a traditional bank that has a low risk focus and puts customers first.

"We have, therefore, created a section on our website that allows people and businesses outside of Lanarkshire to register to open an account. Interested parties can register an interest on our website."