The decision by TSB to leave “customers out in the cold” by shutting more than a dozen branches in the north-east has been met with anger this afternoon.
Six TSB branches in Aberdeen and a further seven in Aberdeenshire are set to close next year.
North-east MSP Peter Chapman labelled the move by bank bosses as “extremely disappointing”, adding they will have a “devastating impact” on communities across the region.
The Scottish Conservative MSP said: “It was announced last year that 17 branches would shut across the north-east and for several more to now close is extremely disappointing and concerning.
“I’m angered that TSB is leaving its customers out in the cold – this decision will have a devastating impact on communities across the north-east.
“While I understand that banking patterns have changed, branches provide a much-needed service and not everyone can use internet banking, especially where internet coverage is poor, and where customers are wary of online systems.
“Residents still rely on high street banks for help, advice or simply cashing money in or out and this announcement is a huge blow for the region, especially rural communities.”
And north-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald added: “This will be a very anxious time for staff particularly due to the current economic climate and the shrinking jobs market.
“Instead of wholesale branch closures and redundancies, TSB should look at how to support customers and staff in challenging times, with a combination of home working and access to local branches.”
SNP MSP Kevin Stewart, who represents Aberdeen Central, said: “This is an incredibly short-sighted decision and at a time when many are feeling isolated, a face-to-face banking service in the local community is indispensable for my constituents.
“As always with bank closures, it is always local businesses and older people that are hit the hardest so I’ve requested a meeting with TSB bosses regarding the future of services in the area.
“The picture of bank closures across this city is grim and TSB need to rethink this decision to allow our communities to fully recover from this pandemic.”
Four proposed TSB closures in Aberdeen South – Culter, Kincorth, Mannofield & Torry. Will be seeking immediate meeting along with colleagues. https://t.co/4VrVEOdKet
— Stephen Flynn MP (@StephenFlynnSNP) September 30, 2020
Alexander Burnett, the Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, said he will be writing to TSB urging the bank to reconsider its decision.
He added: “This is a huge blow to our rural communities as these branches provide a much-needed service, especially to our most vulnerable because not everyone uses internet banking.
“My thoughts go to the staff at each branch who have been impacted by this through no fault of their own and support must now be given to assist them through this difficult period.”
These closures are going to be difficult to take for many.
For those losing their jobs it's going to be individually devastating.
For communities losing their local banks, it's going to be another blow at a time when there's so much else to contend with. https://t.co/l3WyECsM3B
— Michael Hutchison (@SNPMichael) September 30, 2020
Councillor Tauqeer Malik, who represents the Lower Deeside ward, said news of the closure of the last remaining bank in Peterculter was a “bitter blow”.
He said: “TSB is doing a disservice to my community and to those that have banked loyally with the bank for years.
“I am calling on the management at TSB Scotland to think again and keep the branch in Peterculter open as this bank offers a lifeline to the many businesses and customers within Peterculter who use it.”