TSB this week announced it will close the doors to its Castle Douglas branch at the beginning of next year.
The bank’s decision comes amidst scores of closures planned across the network that will see 164 branches shut in total, axing around 900 of its 7000-strong workforce.
TSB Castle Douglas, situated on King Street, will cease operating from January 19, 2021, leaving two branches in Dumfries and Galloway to serve their 19,571 customers in the region.
The Bank explained that with 67 per cent of customers now using mobile banking, there is considerably less justification for remaining open than in past years. Those not using mobile and online banking in Castle Douglas now face a 17.7 mile journey to the Dumfries branch.
Debbie Crosbie, chief executive of TSB, said: “Closing any of our branches is never an easy decision, but our customers are banking differently – with a marked shift to digital banking.”
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has criticised the decision, saying: “Even during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, bank branches were allowed to remain open because it was recognised they provided a lifeline service to customers, in particular older people and the vulnerable. It is an absolute kick in the teeth from the TSB for those key workers who went to work to keep those branches open, that the company is now planning on axing many of those workers jobs.
“While the TSB will claim fewer people are using branches, the industry has been useless at trying to find solutions such as shared banking hubs that more than one bank use for their customers to cut costs. It also brings home once again the failure of the UK Government to put in place tighter obligations on banks when it comes to the closures such as mandatory consultations.
“Local Conservative MPs Alister Jack, David Munnell and John Lamont need to explain why they keep voting against such measures in Parliament.”