Bank refuses to reverse decision to shut TSB branch

Hopes were raised TSB would perform U-turn for customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Banking giant TSB has refused to reverse a decision to close a Highlands branch in June.

The decision to shut the Tain bank has angered Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant.

She wrote to the bank after the Clydesdale opted to give its Dingwall branch a stay of execution due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Grant initially contacted the TSB last November after receiving complaints from a number of constituents about the Tain closure.

The TSB told her it had “not taken the decision lightly”, after reviewing “a range of factors on the viability of the branch.”

The Labour MSP said: “It’s such a pity that banks won’t invest in local communities especially at a time when people will probably be staying local much more – and for the foreseeable future.

“As both governments keep telling us, conquering Coronavirus will be a marathon and not a sprint and I was hoping that banks could see some worth in keeping staff and customers in smaller areas.”

A spokesman for the TSB said: “We recognise concerns about the ongoing pandemic, which resulted in an even lower level of footfall in the branch and an uplift in customers registering for online and mobile banking.

“We are contacting customers to help them use other banking options including telephone and digital, and are working with the Post Office, which is 0.1 miles away, to ensure our customers can continue to access banking services.”

Grant met with bank officials last year to discuss their proposed branch closures.

She wrote to the Clydesdale, which merged with Virgin Money, asking about the future of its Dingwall branch after it had said it would not proceed with closure “until further notice” due to the impact of Covid-19 and general uncertainty.

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