Forfar branch of TSB to close next year

The Forfar branch of TSB is to close in April next year, the bank has announced.

Mark Dowie
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 1:52pm
Forfar branch of TSB to close next year
The Forfar branch of TSB is due to close next April.

It is one of nine branches in Scotland and 70 across the country to be axed next year, due to what the bank says is down to declining branch use and increasing numbers of customers switching to digital banking services.

In recent years, the bank has seen a significant decrease in branch use, with the average number of transactions per branch falling since January 2019 and no prospect of branch transactions returning to pre-Covid levels.

Two years ago, TSB set out its intention to reduce its branch network and invest in digital services, as part of its strategy to meet the future needs of customers, but the Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the shift away from branch services, with customers shopping and doing more online. Over 90% of customer transactions are now carried out digitally and video banking accounts for over 90% of mortgage appointments.

The branches that will close carry out around a third (32%) fewer transactions than the TSB national average. There is also a Post Office or free to use ATM within a mile of each closing branch.

Robin Bulloch, TSB’s chief customer officer, said: “Closing branches is an incredibly difficult decision to take, but we have to respond to the changes in the way people bank and provide the right mix of services for all our customers now and into the future.

“These changes allow us to maintain an extensive branch presence across the country. They are accompanied by a significant investment programme to upgrade branches to better suit customer needs. And, where it takes longer to get to the nearest branch, we will introduce more ‘pop-up’ services in communities.”

TSB has said taht it remains committed to a UK-wide branch network and following the changes, will have 220 branches, remaining the seventh largest branch network in the UK. Once complete more than 90% of TSB customers will still be able to travel to a TSB branch in 20 minutes or less.

By the end of the year, TSB will also have upgraded around 140 branches to help deliver the best experience for TSB’s personal and business customers, including introducing new technology and creating a more open and flexible layout so they deliver what customers need.

The bank has already opened ‘pop-up’ services in 41 communities across the country where it takes longer to get to the nearest branch. A further ten are planned following this announcement.

At ‘pop-ups’, TSB advisers provide face-to-face support, including making payments, providing product information and helping customers get started with digital banking.

As with previous closures, additional support will be provided to vulnerable customers, including one-to-one advice on their banking needs, such as digital skills training and alternative ways to bank. They will also be contacted personally in advance of a branch closure to make them aware of the changes.

All staff impacted by these changes will have the opportunity to move to an alternative role in TSB.

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