Kinghorn bank branch to close - but jobs to remain

Bank of Scotland said there would be no compulsory job losses as a result of the closures. Picture: John Devlin
Bank of Scotland said there would be no compulsory job losses as a result of the closures. Picture: John Devlin
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Kinghorn is to lose its only bank branch after the decision was made to close the Bank of Scotland.

The closure, due to take place in November, was revealed yesterday (Wednesday) alongwith 22 other branches across Scotland.

A spokesman said the decision is part of a three-year strategy of closures, announced by the lender’s parent Lloyds Banking Group, in 2014. He said: “As part of this strategic review, we can confirm that Bank of Scotland will be closing 23 branches.

“In most cases, this is as a result of falling customer demand while in others it is because of overlaps with other nearby branches.

“These changes will not result in any compulsory job losses. We aim to redeploy everyone currently working at a closing branch to alternative Bank of Scotland branches.”

Kinghorn, which currently only operates a banking service on a Tuesday and Friday, is one of 14 towns which will see the ‘last bank in town’ close, and the spokesman added: “We have made the difficult decision to close these branches because of changing customer behaviours, resulting in customers using them less often.

“However, the majority have at least one free cash machine within walking distance and all branches also have a local post office within walking distance. We are also looking to expand our existing mobile branch service to support some of the more rural communities.”

David Torrance MSP said he was ‘greatly disappointed’ by the decision, adding: “I do not underestimate the pressure these closures combined will have

on local efforts to boost Kinghorn’s economy. I feel strongly that the branch staff must be given reassurance from the Bank of Scotland that there will be no job losses as a result of this decision.”

Roger Mullin MP added: “While I understand that local branch use is falling as a result of greater reliance on digital technologies, I am disappointed that the Bank of Scotland is to close its operation in Kinghorn.

“It is my understanding that there are no plans at this time to impose forced redundancies on the employees within the Kinghorn branch, which is welcome news. However, there are many constituents within the Kinghorn area that do not have access to digital technologies for online banking facilities, and some may be unable to travel to branches in neighbouring communities; therefore, the news of the closure is undoubtedly a cause for concern.”

Meanwhile local councillor Susan Leslie said while it wasn’t unexpected after the hours had been reduced, it was still a great loss to the village. She added: “It is my intention to write to the Bank of Scotland and the Co-op to suggest relocating the ATM to the store.”