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Inverness Economy

The economy of Inverness is one of the most buoyant in Scotland, according to the chief executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland.

Susan Rice made the comments when she visited the city yesterday to open a new branch in the High Street.

The organisation spent five years trying to find a suitable site after experiencing problems trying to run the business from offices spread out across the city.

Over 1million was spent refurbishing the three-story former burger joint next to Marks and Spencer, which houses personal, business and corporate banking services.

Mrs Rice said: "This represents a long-standing commitment to the Highlands and Islands because it is a place to do business.

"There is a lot of proactive activity going on and Inverness is a place which is growing quickly, particularly in terms of economy."

Around 45 staff work from the site and the second floor has a conference room suitable for board meetings.

Mrs Rice said the decision to invest money in a new branch was in stark contrast to other banks which were closing sites across the country.

She said: "Internet and telephone banking are all very well and do matter but when you speak to customers they say they want to have a branch they can go to.

"It is about trust - branches will matter in the future."

William Powrie, director for the north of Scotland, said: "The growth of our business in Inverness, coupled with the growth of the city itself, meant that we had to find larger premises. We are really delighted to have found such an ideal building to form our principle office for the north of Scotland."



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