BANK bosses are happy to meet with MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, following today's branch closure announcement.

Two Wee County Clydesdale Bank offices are heading for the chop with the Alloa and Tillicoultry facilities both set to close early-May.

The nearest branch remaining will be miles away in Stirling, with the Ochil and South Perthshire SNP representative saying earlier this morning: “This is hugely disappointing news for local customers, especially for those who don't have access to internet or phone banking, or who do not have access to their own transport.

“I have already started to receive correspondence from constituents who will be effected by this decision, and have spoken to the bank this morning to pass on these specific concerns and to arrange a face to face meeting with them as soon as possible to discuss this matter further.

“I'd be happy to raise any specific concerns existing customers have directly with the bank at this meeting. I will do all I can to convince the Clydesdale Bank of the importance of retaining these local branches.”

A spokeswoman has since confirmed the bank is more than happy to meet the politician and discuss the announcement.


Parent company the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group, explained the move comes as in the past five years, the number of customers using branches for day-to-day transaction has fallen by a third across the whole industry in the UK.

Clydesdale Bank customer banking director Gavin Opperman said: “While the decision to close any branch is never an easy one, it is important that we, in line with other banks operating in the UK market, continue to respond to changes in the way customers want to bank with us.

“The changes announced today continue our journey towards a model that combines an enhanced digital platform with a right sized branch network; allowing customers to interact with us through a wide range of channels – mobile, online, telephone, in-branch – whenever and however they want.”

The bank said it is too early to provide specifics on how many jobs will be impacted at a local level.

It is understood the company will be looking to retain some staff through a redeployment exercise, but no figures have been confirmed yet.

A large number of Yorkshire Bank outlets are also going under the axe in England.


Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alexander Stewart MBE has also joined the debate since, and blamed the SNP for asphyxiating businesses with taxation.

He said: “In the light of the First Minister clearly refusing to help out businesses across the country struggling to cope with her government’s commercial tax hikes, it is clear that this policy is helping to augment Clydesdale Bank’s decision to close over 40 of their branches in Scotland, which includes the expected closure of their premises in Alloa and Tillicoultry with the subsequent and highly regrettable loss of jobs and a vital contribution to the local infrastructure and economy.

“This is especially the case with our many elderly and retired constituents who are often unable, or who choose not to bank on-line, much preferring the social connection of popping in to their local branch for assistance and help with their finances.

“I wholeheartedly support our Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson in her challenge to Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions today, after firms of various sizes spoke of 'daylight robbery' and many feel the threat of being 'driven into insolvency'.

“They have both been hit by a hike in business rates and the SNP’s overnight doubling of the large business supplement. These concerns were raised a day after it emerged that Scotland was falling behind the rest of the UK on both jobs and growth.

“But despite saying how she intended to address these issues, the First Minister echoed her employability minister Jamie Hepburn’s claims that 'Brexit was to blame', despite the rest of Britain going through the same constitutional process.”

Reacting, business, innovation and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The decision to close these branches, while a commercial decision, is obviously very disappointing as it will have an effect on bank customers, local communities and the bank’s staff across a substantial area of the country, and, therefore, the Scottish Government will continue to engage closely with the bank as it implements these changes, and to understand any impacts on bank employees.

“We appreciate that the banks must make savings and efficiencies in delivering services to customers in a modern and changing world, and in the context of an increasing number of transactions being conducted online, but in making such a fundamental change to access to branches in local communities there is an expectation on our much valued banking services providers that they take all due account of the needs of all in our society.

"Clearly, there is a continuing need or strong preference for face-to-face provision of banking for some, as digital access will not be available or, indeed, suitable for everyone, and for the provision of key financial decisions, many customers prefer direct contact.

"Hence, while we recognise declining branch activity may be a driver for banks today, we would urge banks to see branch closures as a last resort and, before closing a branch to consider consultation with local stakeholders to explore all practical options to boost branch footfall and, through this, to retain banking services in local communities, where viable to do so."


Clydesdale Bank - Aberdeen Riverside, Aberlour, Aboyne, Alloa, Banff, Bathgate, Bearsden, Beith, Bellshill, Brechin, Buckie, Cambuslang, Castle Douglas, Cumnock, Dalkeith, Dunoon, East Kilbride Stuart Street, Edinburgh Leith Walk, Edinburgh University, Forfar, Fraserburgh, Giffnock, Glasgow Aikenhead Road, Glasgow Bath Street, Glasgow Charing Cross, Grangemouth, Johnstone, Leith, Leven, Mintlaw, Renfrew, Rosyth, Rothesay, Saltcoats, South Queensferry, Stonehaven, Stranraer, Thurso, Tillicoultry and Troon.

Yorkshire Bank - Alfreton, Barnoldswick, Bradford West Bowling, Burton-Upon-Trent, Chadderton, Cleveleys, Clitheroe, Coalville, Crewe, Filey, Gateshead, Goole, Guisborough, Hinckley, Hull Hessle Road, Knottingley, Leamington Spa, Leeds Central, Leeds Chapel Allerton, Leeds Headingley, Leeds Woodsley Road, Leigh, Middlesbrough Berwick Hills, Newark, Normanton, Norton, Nottingham Bulwell, Ossett, Pickering, Retford, Richmond, Ripon, Royton, Sheffield Broomhill, Sheffield Firth Park, South Shields, Todmorden, Wath upon Dearne and Wellingborough.