Bank slammed for ‘unacceptable’ job cuts and blitz on branches

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Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s MP and MSP say they want assurances their areas won’t fall victim to any new wave of Clydesdale Bank closures.

The bank - whose slogan is “We care about here” – has drawn up a hit list of 40 branches across Scotland it aims to axe in order to switch focus to remote-access services.

SNP men Jamie Hepburn MSP and Stuart McDonald MP have attacked the Clydesdale for cutting services and jobs nationwide – and now want to clarify whether or not branches in their constituencies are safe.

Mr Hepburn said: “Clydesdale Bank is one of Scotland’s largest banks, and has enjoyed a long and rich history going back to 1838, when it was established in Glasgow.

“Last year the Bank had, in its own words, a ‘landmark year’ with reported profits of £77 million.

“It is therefore incredibly disappointing to hear that it now plans to slash its workforce in Scotland and reduce the services available to its customers.”

He added: “Stuart McDonald MP and I have written to Clydesdale Bank seeking clarity on the future of its branches in Cumbernauld and Kirkintilloch, and to seek assurances that no further branch closures will be announced.”

Mr McDonald said: “I am deeply disappointed by Clydesdale Bank’s plans to close 40 branches in Scotland and my thoughts are with those who are at risk of losing their jobs.

“The impact of these closures on those employed by the Bank and customers who use its services is completely unacceptable.

“The Bank’s proposal to shift its focus to digital and telephone banking services will have a disproportionate impact on older customers who may not have access to a computer, or feel comfortable conducting transactions over the phone.

“There are also a number of essential transactions that cannot be performed remotely, which will result in some customers having to travel more than 25 miles to reach their nearest branch.”

Clydesdale Bank has said a decline in branch usage and a dramatic and continuing rise in digital and mobile-driven banking is behind its plan to cut local services and shed jobs.

Customer visits to banks are said to have dropped off by around a third since 2011.

It’s understood some 79 branches will close across Britain when Yorkshire Bank is included, and that around 400 workers risk losing their jobs.

Two hundred of these are in Scotland, where the bank says it will fully support those whose employment is threatened by the cuts.