Stranraer's TSB branch to close

The Stranraer branch of the TSB will close next year following an announcement by the bank.

The branch will close next year
The branch will close next year

The TSB said it would close 70 branches in 2022 including the local branch as it responds to declining branch use and increasing numbers of customers switching to digital banking services.

The branch in Castle Street will close on April 28, with the bank claiming that 60 per cent of personal customers and 68 per cent of business customers now use mobile, online or telephone banking which have increased by one per cent and seven per cent respectively in the last two years.

It also stated that in the last two years has seen a 48 per cent decrease in transactions at this branch, with only 11 customers visiting the branch regularly, seven of whom use the branch and no other channel.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth described the news as ‘terrible’ for the community of Stranraer.

He said: “While many people have undoubtedly changed the way they bank, a lot of my constituents, especially those who are older or more vulnerable, still rely on being able to attend a physical bank and speak to someone directly.

“For far too long our bank branches have been disappearing from our high streets and this news will be devastating for the staff in Stranraer. The company has said it will try and offer staff another role, but it is questionable how practical this will be.

“While the TSB will claim fewer people are using branches, the industry has been useless at trying to find solutions such as shared banking hubs that more than one bank uses for their customers to cut costs.

"It also brings home once again the failure of the UK Government to put in place tighter obligations on banks when it comes to the closures such as mandatory consultations.”

TSB’s chief customer officer Robin Bulloch said: “Closing branches is an incredibly difficult decision to take, but we have to respond to the changes in the way people bank and provide the right mix of services for all our customers now and into the future.

“These changes allow us to maintain an extensive branch presence across the country. They are accompanied by a significant investment programme to upgrade branches to better suit customer needs. And, where it takes longer to get to the nearest branch, we will introduce more ‘pop-up’ services in communities.”

With the nearest alternative branches being in Ayr and Dumfries, both of which are well over an hour’s drive away, a ‘pop-up’ will be introduced in Stranraer.