BANK bosses are being urged to rethink plans to close the TSB branch in Craigmillar amid concerns about how elderly and disabled customers will cope.
TSB – taken over by Spain’s Banco de Sabadell after it was split off from Lloyds Banking Group three years ago – is closing 25 banks across the UK to “fine tune” its network.
And it said it was investing in an upgrade of its Cameron Toll branch, the next nearest TSB.
But residents and businesses in Craigmillar argued that was no substitute for a bank at the heart of the community which people could use without having to get a bus.
Now a campaign has been launched to save the bank in Niddrie Mains Road, which is earmarked to close on November 11.
Iain Campbell, of ISee Opticians in Niddrie Mains Road, said: “There are a lot of people who are less able who are going to have to go to Cameron Toll or Portobello, neither of which is particularly convenient.
“They can say all they like about increasing customer service at Cameron Toll, but what matters is they are removing it in Craigmillar.”
He predicted customers would leave TSB if the closure goes ahead.
“People will vote with their feet if they feel they are getting a bad service,” he said.
And Honor Flynn, 49, of Castleview Drive, said: “It’s really important for the community. I don’t think TSB has taken into account what is happening here – there are going to be thousands of houses and also businesses and there will be no bank.
“It’s been part of the community for years, it’s a key part of the high street and they’re going to take it away. There has been no consultation about this – people just got letters in the post saying it was shutting.”
Edinburgh East SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: “The closure of this bank will affect the many elderly and less able people and have an impact on their ability to access banking services.
“But beyond that, this is an area of growth. Over the next few years thousands of new residents will come to call this place home and the bank has a great opportunity to be part of that future and secure their custom. We hope we can make them realise this.”
A TSB spokesman said: “We are committed to having a strong branch presence in Edinburgh and note there a number of branches within a two-mile radius of the Craigmillar branch.”