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Job fears as TSB announces reduced opening hours across many north branches

Douglas Ross at the TSB in Mide Street in Keith.
Douglas Ross at the TSB in Mide Street in Keith.

The TSB bank announced that opening hours would be cut at branches across the north of Scotland yesterday.

The news will come as a further blow to customers living in areas hit by the recent closure of other banks.

Customers fear that the move will potentially lead to eventual closures and hundreds of job losses.

The TSB stressed that the financial institution was adapting to offer its customers the “best possible service”.

Operating hours will be slashed at branches across the Highlands, Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen from July.

Nairn residents’ dismay as second bank in town drastically reduces hours

Two branches in Keith and Holburn Street in Aberdeen will also be closed.

A TSB spokesman said that the move would lead to investment in its branches as well as its digital service.

He said: “With fewer people using some of our branches, we are reviewing the number of hours some of them open.

“We have over 150 branches across the country and 70% of people in Scotland live within two miles of a TSB branch.

“Our branch partners are working with our customers to support them as we make these changes and there will be no job losses.”

However, Mark Brown, general secretary of TBU, the largest independent trade union in TSB, fears the reduced hours would be “quickly followed by closures”.

He said: “Following TSB’s IT meltdown last year, which will have cost up to £400million when you include fines from the regulators, branches are being sacrificed on the altar of cost savings.

“The bank will change opening hours first but that will be quickly followed by closures later in the year.

“The new opening hours in those branches that remain open in Scotland have been chosen to deter customers from using them.

“We expect up to 150 TSB branches, many of them in Scotland, will close over the next few years and hundreds of jobs will be lost.”

FSB Scotland policy chair Andrew MacRae said communities would be hurt by TSB’s decision.

He said: “In scores of communities these changes will reduce local footfall, hurting the vibrancy of many of our high streets.

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“It will make it more difficult to run a business, especially if you operate in our cash-dependent retail and hospitality industries.”

Former bank consultant Alastair Forsyth said the impact on customers could not be overstated.

The Aberdeenshire councillor said: “This of course leaves customers, who for various reasons do not use the technology to conduct banking business, to find a new bank or be content with an ever decreasing offering on the high street.”

And Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “Banks should have a moral obligation to provide services in local communities.

“Instead they are closing branches with no consultation and little consideration for their customers while expecting them to bank at different locations – sometimes a considerable distance away – or move to online banking which is not suitable or acceptable for every customer.”

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