Bank of Scotland axes seven Edinburgh branches

Targeted: The Holyrood branch of the Bank of Scotland. Picture: Colin Hattersley
Targeted: The Holyrood branch of the Bank of Scotland. Picture: Colin Hattersley
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SEVEN Edinburgh branches of the Bank of Scotland are to be closed by the company later this year, it has been announced.

The company revealed it was to close 13 branches across Scotland, with other locations affected including Aberdeen, Glasgow and Paisley.

Edinburgh was the worst hit however, with the company confirming it would close its branches in Marchmont, Blackhall, Fairmilehead, St James, Holyrood, Murrayfield and Sighthill.

The bank said that all 13 branches would shut by 
September 18.

The move follows a strategic review of the business which was announced in October last year.

The bank also said there would be no redundancies as a result of the decision, although there was no detail of how branch staff would be redeployed within the company.

The decision will affect customers across the Capital.

A bank spokesman said: “Our focus has been on urban areas where there is another Bank of Scotland branch nearby. Branches continue to play an important role for us.”

The move followed an announcement earlier this week by the Royal Bank of Scotland that it was to close several of its branches across Scotland.

They included Edinburgh’s Goldenacre and Tollcross, and West Blackhall Street in Greenock.

Branches in Invergordon, Lochinver and Lybster in the Highlands and Stromness in Orkney will also shut this year.

RBS said it would be offering its customers alternative ways of using its services, adding that it was a “difficult decision” to shut the high-street locations, but that alternative ways of using their services will still be available to customers in the areas affected by the closures.

In a statement, RBS said that they will be writing about the closure of the branches to all customers who use the banks – and that they will be providing further details “well in advance of the closure date”. Display posters will also be up in branches to help spread the word among customers.

“We will work hard to engage with all of our customers, local businesses and the wider local community between now and the closure date to ensure they are aware of the alternative ways of accessing their banking with us in the local area, and to answer any questions they might have,” the statement 
explained.

The Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland criticised the closures announced by the two banks.

Head of external affairs Colin Borland said: “This is a bad week for Scottish towns and underlines a worrying trend.

“While we support the use of technology to provide better services, businesses need locations to deposit and withdraw cash.

“Bank branches also provide important footfall to our high streets. Business owners want to look their manager in the eye when they do deals and develop relationships.

“We urge Scotland’s big banks to revisit this decision and pledge to stop abandoning small town Scotland.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com