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Aberdeen, Huntly and Turriff bank branches facing the chop

Bank of Scotland
Bank of Scotland

Bank branches in Aberdeen, Huntly and Turriff are facing closure under revised Lloyds Banking Group plans to shut 56 sites across the UK.

Unite the union described the decision, affecting 160 jobs, as “unjustified and damaging”.

But a spokeswoman for LBG insisted there would be no compulsory redundancies, saying it was simply pushing ahead with closures announced earlier this year.

It comes just weeks after LBG, which owns Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Lloyds, said it was axing 1,070 jobs but also creating 329 new ones.

Unite national officer said Rob MacGregor said: “Unite has opposed these bank branch closures at every step.

“The decision to go ahead and close 56 branches is unjustified and damaging. The pandemic has highlighted the vital role our local bank branches play in providing an essential service to the community.

“These closures don’t just cut a vital service from communities, but also force customers to travel further to stand in larger crowds of customers queuing outside busier branches.”

He added: “Unite is opposed to these latest cuts and will continue to resist job losses and branch closures.

“The union has urged the bank to halt the branch closure programme and instead assess the impacts of any proposed closures on members, customers, and the local economic activity.

“Across the country, trade unions, MPs and community groups have expressed their concerns to the banking sector about the negative impact their actions are having on local economies and the wider society.

“Once again the voice of customers and staff appear to be ignored in the rush to make short term savings.”

The branches were all initially identified to close over a six-month plan starting from April to October this year. The new plan will see them shutting after Marc 2021.

As well as the three north-east branches, including one in Tullos, Aberdeen, the closure list includes four sites in Edinburgh

LBG’s spokeswoman said: “In January this year we announced that these branches would be closing due to a decline in use.  We paused these closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic and, after careful consideration, these planned closures will take place in March and April 2021.”

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