Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has written to the bank’s chief executive officer Nathan Bostock seeking safeguards that it will not be closed.
In a letter to its customers, Santander confirms that it will only open the Stranraer branch between 9.30am and 3pm on weekdays, effective from Monday, July 18. It is already closed at weekends.
Mr Carson says it is important local banking and building society branches remain open for business.
He said: “We have already witnessed the sad decision to close the Bank of Scotland branch at Kirkcudbright which is obviously a great disappointment to many of its customers who enjoy the personal approach.
“Despite a growth in digital banking services, not everybody has access or indeed wants to carry out their banking in this way – especially many of the elderly customers.
“So, it is imperative that local banking services are maintained – and this means keeping local branches open. I believe it is totally wrong to force people to travel great distances in order to carry out their banking needs.”
Santander insists there will be no branch closures as part of the changes that are part of a national overhaul.
The company stated: “We have seen over recent years, that as well as using our branches, many more of our customers find it convenient to do their day-to-day banking online, through mobile or tel ephone banking.
“As a result, customers are visiting our branches much less, with branch transactions falling by 33 per cent in the two years before the pandemic, by 20 per cent in 2020 and by 12 per cent in 2021.
“By making these adjustments to our branch opening hours, this will allow branch colleagues to help more customers on the phone, where demand is now extremely high.”