TSB announces 300 job losses as 73 bank branches are set to close
Edinburgh-based TSB has it will be closing 73 bank branches with 300 jobs set to be lost, despite appeals to save outlets in the remotest and most deprived areas of Scotland.
While there has been continued resistance to closing the “last bank in town” the move means shutting down the final TSB branch in the East Neuk of Fife, which is one of Scotland’s second homes hotspots.
The closure of TSB’S Anstruther branch marks the end of the last bank in the area after the closure of the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2017.
TSB has confirmed it has begun the process of a series of closures, with two branches to shut this week in the Pilton area of Edinburgh and Peebles. Branches in Grantown on Spey, North Berwick, Castle Douglas, Aboyne, Kelso and Insch have already closed.
There has been an ongoing battle to stop closures in some of the most deprived parliamentary constituencies in the UK, which would see many areas down to their last bank branch.
TSB is blaming “a significant shift in customer behaviour” as more people bank online for its decision to shut more than half of its Scottish branches and cut about 300 jobs.
A TSB source said: “TSB is committed to a national branch network and is taking forward plans announced last year to right size it. We are working closely with stakeholders to ensure we support our customers through these changes, particularly in the current environment.”
The 73 branches will be shut by June and include those in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas, with two closing in Glasgow North East, in Springburn and Dennistoun, The Herald reports.
Carol Monaghan, MP for neighbouring Glasgow North West, has campaigned against the decision to shut three branches in Anniesland, Drumchapel and Partick, but said her pleas have been unsuccessful. She added there has been no shift on TSB’S position on closures.
She said: “These closures constitute the removal of a vital service. Quick and easy access to financial support and advice within the community is always essential. However, in these times of increased upheaval due to the pandemic, it is even more crucial that we can all access our money easily and locally.
“As a result of these closures, many of my constituents will have to travel outside of their local communities to visit their bank. Equally, many customers will be directed towards online banking, despite the fact that access to broadband and technological devices is not universal.”
More than 400 people have signed a petition calling on the TSB to reconsider the closure of its north east Fife branches. Branches in Cupar and Anstruther are among seven in Fife earmarked for closure in March.
Campaigner Rhuaraidh Fleming presented the signatures to TSB chief executive Debbie Crosbie in December and said people were angry at the decision.
Age Concern were among those who have opposed to the closures first announced in September. Brian Sloan, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We’re appalled by this latest round of closures, which will undoubtedly hit older and vulnerable customers hardest.
“The disappearance of almost half TSB’S Scottish branches will inevitably lead to banking deserts and make it harder for customers to manage their money.”
A TSB spokesman commented: “Branches earmarked for closure have been selected to ensure 94 per cent of TSB customers can travel in 20 minutes or less to a branch, and the new network will have an average of 17,000 customers per branch, which remains below the UK average.
“At the same time we are investing in our remaining network: re-developing branches and providing new facilities such as video banking and self-service machines.
“All the TSB branches in our current closure programme have a post office and ATM within a mile of the branch, maintaining local access to cash.”