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Building society to close Dumfries branch

Section:  Dumfries and West  | Tags: ,

A BUILDING society in Dumfries is set to close its doors — axing four jobs and dealing a ‘major blow’ to the High Street.

pound GBP coin and gold money on the desk

Newcastle Building Society has decided to close the branch in Queensberry Square following an 18-month review into its branch network.

Chief executive Andrew Haigh said: “Our roots are in North East England and we are focusing our future operations on having a positive, long-term impact on communities where we have the greatest presence.”
He added: “The decision to close a branch is not made lightly.
“We will ensure that customers and staff are fully supported as the closure process progresses.”
The organisations says that a programme of support is in place for the four Dumfries-based staff, including looking at whether working in a different location is an option and/or providing assistance in helping them look for and secure other employment when the branch closes.
And support is being promised for local customers, who will receive appropriate guidance and information.
Reacting to the closure, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “This is another major blow for our High Street and the third separate bank to close local branches in the region.”
Describing it as ‘deeply troubling for our High Street to lose yet another business’, Mr Smith said he is concerned for customers left without a branch and for staff, hoping they will have a chance to relocate to Carlisle.
Newcastle Building Society say the branch closure is in line with its strategic commitment to a North East regional focus, and they will invest in the relocation or refurbishmenrt of branches including Carlisle in the next 18 months.
But Mr Smith said: “When you listen to the company saying that they are closing their Dumfries and Gibraltar branches to focus on their north of England heartlands, you wonder if they actually know Dumfries is just over the border.”

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