Dire warnings that even major towns like Carluke and Lanark will soon be ‘cash deserts’ have been issued following the announcement of yet more cuts to local bank services.
This week the TSB announced that its Carluke branch’s customers are to suffer the same major cuts to opening hours their Lanark counterparts learnt of last week.
Essentially, both branches are to go on to three-day a week opening.
At Carluke, where TSB opened its new High Street branch just six years ago, the opening hours will be 9.30am to 4.30 pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays while at Lanark it will be the same opening hours but on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Both branches will have a daily 12.30pm to 1.30pm lunch hour closure.
The bankworkers union, the FSB, claimed that these cuts could just be a rehearsal for full closure of the branches.
It’s West of Scotland leader Andy Aird claimed: “We fear that this might be eventually leading to the bank closing their doors for good. In Lanark and Carluke, these changes will reduce local footfall, hurting the vibrancy of many of our high streets.
“It will make it more difficult to run a business, especially if you operate in our cash-dependent retail and hospitality industries. UK Ministers must stop sitting on their hands when it comes to bank branch closures and uncertainty over our ATM network. We need to see policymakers look at the impact of these sorts of closures on the economic health of local communities.”
The TSB has stated that, with increased use of internet banking and falling customer numbers at branches, its only alternative to full closures was to cut branch opening times. (See P4)