Calls have been made for a banking hub in north-east Fife after the TSB revealed plans to cut opening hours at two rural branches.
The bank is closing its Anstruther branch one further day a week, while in Cupar the branch will revert to three days.
Willie Rennie MSP described it as “another blow” to the towns.
And he believes hubs could be the way ahead for rural towns which have already endured a number of branch closures
TSB will inform customers of the reasons why opening hours are being cut this week.
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“Our customers use banking services in different ways and the way they bank has and continues to change,” it said.
“That is why we try to adapt our offer with our customers and remain focused on offering brilliant service however a customer chooses to bank. We are determined to make significant efforts to keep branches with low footfall open by reducing opening hours. This is part of a concerted effort to reduce costs so that we can protect our physical presence.”
Customer usage has dropped just two per cent in Anstruther in 12 months, but it will still be open one less day a week from July.
This will mean the doors will only open close a Monday, Wednesday and Friday between.
The bank insists some 76 per cent of customers in Anstruther use another branch, telephone or digital banking.
Cupar has seen an eight per cent drop in usage.
From July it will reduce its opening hours to Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Added the TSB: “We know the important role branches play and therefore the days these branches are open have been selected to coincide with the times the branch is busiest.”
Information notices will be sent to customers later this week.
The bank confirmed there will be no job losses as a result of these changes
Mr Rennie said he was dismayed to hear of the cutbacks.
He said: “This is another blow to the residents of North East Fife where changes to opening times and, even more worryingly, bank closures are becoming increasingly frequent.
“TSB’s change of hours comes hot on the heels of news about Santander’s closure. Our High Streets are under a lot of pressure and too many local banks are buckling. This is a really concerning trend.
“Many people like telephone or digital banking but face-to-face services are still essential.
“The Liberal Democrats have set out proposals for shared banking hubs in smaller communities, where banks could pull together resources ensuring at least one shop stays open. This would help people in rural areas across Scotland preserve precious access to face-to-face financial services.”