Bank of Scotland to pull out of Scotstoun raising fears over access to local services

By Ian Marland at

Community representatives have expressed concern at the closure of a key local service in Scotstoun.

Bank of Scotland has announced its branch on Dumbarton Road is to close in March next year.

Bank of Scotland

Closure: the branch on Dumbarton Road will close in March

The writing had been on the wall for the branch after the bank said it was on a list of outlets at threat of closure.

Bank bosses say fewer people are using the Dumbarton Road counters, and services can be accessed at other branches.

Online banking and a changed market place for banking services has seen the closure of hundreds of branches across the country in recent years.

The Scotstoun branch is one of 49 branches to close in the UK – 11 of them in Scotland.

A statement on the bank’s website said the decision had followed a review of how the branch is used locally.

“Following a careful review, Glasgow Scotstoun branch will close on 8 March 2018,” says the statement.

“We have made the difficult decision to close this branch because of the changing ways customers choose to bank with us.

“Most are already using an alternative way to bank and we have another branch close by.”

Bank of Scotland

Trends: the bank says only one in five customers use the Scotstoun branch and no other. Source: Bank of Scotland

But local representatives said they were disappointed by the bank’s move.

Cllr Michael Cullen, SNP member for Garscadden and Scotstounhill, said: “Glasgow’s sense of community is one of the city’s biggest assets, but we need services to remain local.

“The announcement by the bank of Scotland to close a local branch that is at the heart our our community is not only disappointing but will have a devastating impact.”

Michael added: “Lots of local business and members of the public use this facility and some people don’t have the capacity to make these long journeys to do their essential banking.

“Access to banking has increased over the years and the traditional local branch isn’t as busy as it once was but these decisions must reflect the diverse community which these branch’s play an essential part of.

“I would hope the Bank of Scotland would review this decision and work with the community to find a solution that will keep this branch open.”

Bank of Scotland

Services: customers are increasing doing their banking through ATMs. Source: Bank of Scotland

Cllr Eva Murray, Labour member for Garscadden and Scotstounhill, said she was concerned at access to banking services for local people.

“It is widely recognised that access to finance and local banking is essential – especially for the poorest and the most vulnerable.

Eva added: “This decision is not in the interest of the local community, and I will do all I can to make sure that Bank of Scotland services remain local.

“Yes, there is an increasing reliance on online and internet banking – but decisions like these threaten to leave whole swathes of the community behind.”

Scotstoun Community Council said it was “very disappointed” at the Bank of Scotland’s decision.

“The closure of the Scotstoun branch will leave the area with no local banking facilities,” said a spokesman.

“In an area with many elderly residents and local businesses not having a bank will leave many struggling.

“The Community Council will be contacting the BoS to make them aware of the local issues this decision will have.

“We will be looking to work with local residents and businesses to try and reverse this devastating decision.”

A spokesman for the bank said: “Customers are increasingly choosing to use digital and mobile channels for their everyday banking needs.

“As a consequence, the number of customers visiting some of our branches has declined in recent years.

“In response to this, we have confirmed the locations of some branches which will close next year across Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland.”