Concerns have been raised after banking giant Santander announced plans to close two north-east branches.
The firm confirmed it will shut 140 branches in the UK, putting more than 1,200 jobs at risk, following a slump in the number of transactions it handles.
Aberdeen’s George Street bank will close on November 9 and Brechin’s St David Street on May 9. The branch on Union Street will not be affected.
The bank said it is consulting unions and will seek to find alternative roles for employees affected by the closures.
George Street and Harbour councillor Michael Hutchison said: “While the plans for George Street have been no secret, it’s concerning the branch is announcing plans to close before the Bon Accord expansion has planning permission.
“The old Co-op sitting empty for a prolonged time was a blow for the area and I hope this won’t be repeated here.”
North-east MSP Liam Kerr said: “I am saddened and disappointed that Santander are closing their branches in George St, Aberdeen, and St David Street, Brechin.
“These are all busy branches which encourage people into town centres and contribute massively to the high street.
“People are increasingly banking online as well as in their branches, but surely a closer relationship with finances and spending should be encouraged.”
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Following the closures, Santander will retain a network of 614 outlets and says its customers also have the option of using banking facilities at the more than 11,000 Post Office branches across the UK.
The move comes as the number of transactions carried out at Santander branches fell by 23% over the past three years, while transactions online and on mobile phones have soared by 99%.
The bank said that it will also spend £55 million refurbishing 100 branches over the next two years, which will include a “focus on personal service, convenience and community engagement”.
Susan Allen, head of retail and business banking at Santander, said: “The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels.
“As a result, we have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less-visited branches and those where we have other branches in close proximity.
“We will support customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs.
“We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles for those impacted wherever possible.”