Cupar bank branch to cut services and go ‘counter-free’

Bank of Scotland in Cupar. Pic: Google.
Bank of Scotland in Cupar. Pic: Google.

Concerns have been raised after the Bank of Scotland announced its Cupar branch would be going ‘counter-free’.

In a letter to customers, the bank said it would be making changes to its branches over the next few months, which will see some services withdrawn.

Services including paying and withdrawing coins and making bill payments using Bank Giro Credit will no longer be available from the branch.

There will not be the same level of service for Passbook account holders.

The letter states that customers seeking these services can do their banking at the branches in Leven and St Andrews.

And with the counter removed, customers will instead have to use new tablets and self-service points.

The letter states that staff will still be at the branch to answer questions and help show customers how to use the points.

The branch will also be closed while the refitting takes place.

The announcement has been criticised by local MP, Stephen Gethins.

He is concerned that the changes will impact on the elderly and less mobile customers, as well as small businesses reliant on the local service.

Mr Gethins said: “Bank customers in Cupar have already been hit by the closure of the Clydesdale and RBS branches over the last few years.

“This is yet another blow to the community and efforts being made by groups to promote the town and encourage business.

“Elderly and less mobile people rely on a local service and many will not feel confident using technology in the branch or at home to access their finances.

“I am also concerned about the impact on small businesses.

“So many are already feeling the impact of RBS closing and the loss of facilities for change and paying in cheques, for example. Everyone is being redirected to the Post Office but this is far from ideal and could lead to even longer queues and pressure on the services it offers.

“I have written to Bank of Scotland asking for more detail on these changes.

“It is not good enough to simply expect people especially the elderly, those with mobility and those with no access to their own transport, to travel to St Andrews or Leven.”

Bank of Scotland says there will be no job losses as a result of the change.

A spokesman added: “Branches are a vital part of our strategy and we recognise the important role that the Bank of Scotland Cupar branch plays in the local community. We’re investing in our network to ensure it evolves to meet the changing needs of customers. We are updating the Cupar branch by introducing new technology, making everyday banking more convenient and giving the branch a new contemporary look. Colleagues will remain on hand to help customers with their banking needs as they do today.”

Both Clydesdale and the Royal Bank of Scotland have closed branches in the town in recent years.