Banking giants to close 18 rural scottish branches amidst shift to online banking
Bank of Scotland owner Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays have announced the closure of 63 branches across the UK, 18 of which are located in Scotland.
This development comes as an increasing number of customers move towards online banking, leading to a considerable decline in branch visits.
Lloyds confirmed it will shutter 17 branches in Scotland, namely, Cupar, Fort Augustus, Eyemouth, Ballater, Duns, Braemar, Ullapool, Aberfoyle, Newcastleton, Dunkeld, Falkland, Cumnock, Crieff, Jedburgh, Girvan, Dunbar, and Aviemore.
Barclays will cease operations in St Andrews.
The closures are attributed to the 55% average drop in branch visits in the past five years across Lloyds’ brands. This decrease includes a 73% reduction in footfall at one of the worst-hit branches, The Scotsman reports.
The banking group reassured that displaced employees from the closing branches would be offered positions elsewhere within the business. It also emphasised its focus on enhancing digital and mobile banking options and introducing more community bankers for face-to-face support.
The announcement followed Link, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, revealing plans for four new banking hubs in Scotland, slated for towns facing branch closures: Cumnock, Girvan, Crieff, and Jedburgh.