Latest banking withdrawal sparks angry backlash

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Bank bosses are under fire after announcing plans to close another branch in East Renfrewshire.

The latest blow to customers will see the Bank of Scotland pull out of Clarkston.

When the doors of the Busby Road branch close for the last time on Monday July 4, it will leave the town without a bank.

It’s part of parent company Lloyds Banking Group’s plans to close 60 branches across the UK as more people choose to sort through their finances online.

Clarkston has already lost its RBS, Santander and TSB branches in recent years, while other parts of East Renfrewshire have suffered similar issues, such as the TSB branch in Cross Arthurlie Street, Barrhead, which will close in 2020.

East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald plans to meet bosses at the Bank of Scotland to voice her concerns.

She told the Barrhead News: “Bank closures are a huge problem for local communities.

“The closure of all bank branches in a local area is of particular concern for the elderly, the less mobile and the business and community groups who depend on these facilities.

“Telling Clarkston residents and businesses that they can go to Newton Mearns or Shawlands for banking services is simply not good enough.

“The Bank of Scotland says it has consulted with unions, but union representatives have spoken out on the decision to abandon more local communities and withdraw the services of staff dedicated to meeting local banking needs, including the most vulnerable.

“I am arranging an urgent meeting with Bank of Scotland to find out more about why such a poor decision was made and so I can explain why they need to reconsider.”

Councilor Annette Ireland and David Tam McDonald, who are standing for the SNP in the Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood borough in the May 5 local elections, have written to Bank of Scotland CEO António Horta-Osório urging him to reconsider its decision.

‘It is shocking that Bank of Scotland is considering closing the last bank in Clarkston, with no say to residents,’ Councilor Ireland said.

“Not everyone has the skills to use digital banking and the removal of the latest face-to-face service is a huge blow for older and more vulnerable residents who need help with their day-to-day banking. .

“The Bank of Scotland urgently needs to rethink this decision and ensure that its Clarkston customers can easily access local banking services.”

However, bank bosses have defended their latest shutdown plans.

Vim Maru, Group Retail Director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Just like many other high street businesses, fewer customers are choosing to visit our branches.

“Our branch network is an important way for us to support our customers, but we have to adapt to the significant growth in the number of customers who choose to do most of their day-to-day banking online. »

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