Falkirk MSP blasts bank's decision to axe Grangemouth branch

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald says TSB has turned its back on the elderly and the rest of its customers by closing its Grangemouth town centre branch.

By James Trimble
Thursday, 1st October 2020, 9:10 am

Yesterday TSB announced it would be closing the La Porte Precinct branch – and the premises at South Street, Bo’ness – next year, blaming changing “customer behaviour”.

Mr MacDonald said: “Once again we see our communities being shown unacceptable disregard by banks who are failing to take into consideration the needs of people, particularly elderly people, who don’t have access to online facilities and prefer to do their banking face to face, or businesses who have a need to process cash banking locally.

“Another unforgivable blow to communities, like Bo’ness, who had the TSB as their only option in the town. Now these people will be faced with having to travel outside the town to do their banking – and I would encourage as many people as possible to get in touch with TSB to share their displeasure with the company’s tactics.

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has criticised TSB's decision to close down branches in Grangemouth and Bo'ness

“I will be writing to TSB demanding an explanation for this. To leave Bo’ness with no banks, and Grangemouth with one bank, is unacceptable and I would hope that these decisions could be looked at urgently in order to ensure that continued access to banking services is available to my constituents for the foreseeable future.”

In total TSB plans to close 73 branches throughout Scotland, affecting around 300 branch-related jobs, as the financial organisation continues to implement the three-year strategy it announced in November 2019.

It stated the changes have been driven by a significant change in customer behaviour, including a reduction in the numbers using branches and a significant acceleration in digital adoption.

Branches earmarked for closure have been selected to ensure 94 per cent of TSB customers in Scotland remain within 20 minutes travel time of a branch.

TSB stated it will introduce around 50 mobile advisers in some rural communities to deliver face-to-face support for existing TSB customers on basic banking queries and organise further support for them.

Robin Bulloch, TSB customer banking director, said: “These decisions are the most difficult we take, but we must always be guided by our customers – and we are clearly witnessing a substantial shift towards digital banking.

“We operate a more extensive branch network than most other banks in Scotland, including some much larger than TSB, and we need to reduce its size to reflect the changing needs of our customers and a fast-evolving operational environment.

“TSB remains committed to offering high quality banking services in branches across Scotland. We are also introducing mobile advisers to ensure we look after vulnerable customers and those in rural locations.

“We are working to ensure the transition towards digital – which is being seen right across the economy – is handled sensitively and pragmatically for our colleagues and customers.”

Grangemouth town centre previously lost a bank when Royal Bank of Scotland closed its branch in La Porte Precinct in October 2017.

The only bank that remains in the town centre now is the Bank of Scotland in York Arcade/La Porte Precinct.