Updated: Apr 17
Two local parliamentarians have called for an immediate meeting with TSB bosses following the bank’s decision to close its Kirkintilloch branch.
Amy Callaghan MP and Stuart McDonald MP have slammed the decision, which would leave East Dunbartonshire with no TSB branches, as “short sighted” and a “betrayal” of customers.
Ms Callaghan said that when bank bosses decided to close the branch in Bishopbriggs, customers had been reassured that they could continue to use the branch in Kirkintilloch four miles away. The latest announced closure will leave customers in Kirkintilloch with a journey of over seven miles to the nearest branch in Cumbernauld, a situation that Ms Callaghan described as “ludicrous”.
The closure comes as the TSB announced a pre-tax profit of £42.9 million at the 2021 half-year financial results, turning around a pre-tax loss in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.
Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:
“This is the wrong decision at the worst possible time. We are still dealing with a global pandemic where we want people to stay close to home to slow the spread of the virus, and it is now that the TSB decides to close the Kirkintilloch branch and expect people to travel further to do their banking.
“It is a short-sighted decision that doesn’t even make business sense. While customer branch transactions were down across the TSB network due to the pandemic, the drop in use at the Kirkintilloch branch was well-below average. That surely tells us that the branch is playing an important role for local people, particularly vulnerable customers.
“To be frank, it is a decision that few local people will understand given the overall profits recently recorded by the TSB.
“I look forward to meeting with bank bosses to oppose this branch closure in the strongest possible terms.”
Stuart McDonald MP added:
“I share the surprise and anger of constituents in Kirkintilloch and neighbouring villages, some of whom will struggle to access mobile and internet banking.
“We have had promises before about support for such customers, but it has not always been delivered on.
“The relentless closure of bank branches also raises serious questions about their wider regulation and access to basic local services, and it is past time for the UK government to step in."