Jobs Set To Go At Scottish Banks

18 January 2017, 18:19 | Updated: 18 January 2017, 18:23


Hundreds of staff look set to be made redundant at the Airdrie Savings Bank and the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank.

The Airdrie Savings Bank, the UK's last independent bank, is to close.

Union Unite says all three remaining branches will shut with the loss of around 70 jobs.

Regional officer, Wendy Dunsmore, said: This announcement is a bitter disappointment and will come as a shock to many.

''Unite will be doing everything we can to support our Airdrie Savings Bank members during this incredibly sad and difficult time, and to make sure their employment rights are protected.
''Our understanding is that the bank has had to meet extra costs due to increased regulation following the financial crash of 2008. So Airdrie Savings Bank has become yet another innocent victim of casino bankers.
''Even at this late stage, we would urge the Scottish and UK Governments and the banking regulators to work with us to explore all options for saving jobs.''
It comes as the union also warns the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank is set to close 79 branches with the loss of more than 400 jobs.

Unite said the decision to close a third of the bank's branch network will be ''deeply devastating'' to the employees.

It is the largest-ever closure plan by the company and will radically change the face of the bank, according to Unite.

National officer Rob MacGregor, said: ''Staff across the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank will be devastated to learn that 79 branches will close and consequently over 400 colleagues will lose their jobs.

''Unite is clear that the closure of a third of the bank's branches will not only be concerning for staff but the local communities which will see their bank branch close.

''This cost-cutting plan leaves customers with less choice for local banking.

''The union has called on the bank to give a commitment to mitigate compulsory redundancies where possible and that they will reconsider closing any bank branches that are the last bank in a town.    

''Unite workplace representatives will be able to assist members over the coming day and weeks to support staff impacted by this announcement.''

Clydesdale said, since 2011, the number of customers using their bank for day-to-day transactions across the banking industry in the UK has fallen by a third.

A statement said: ''This ongoing decline in branch usage, married to a sharp and sustained increase in digital and mobile engagement, has driven a shift to providing greater access to day-to-day banking services remotely, on the move and outside of normal business hours.

''The Bank continues to reshape its service offering in response to these changing needs.

''To support this transformation the Bank is committing £350 million over the next two years, embracing digital innovation while continuing to invest in a more sustainable branch network to deliver a superior customer experience.

''The Bank's first priority is to our customers and we will be working extensively with impacted customers, local communities and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the transition to their new branch is as smooth and as sensitive as possible, particularly where vulnerable customers are concerned.

''It is also the Bank's intention to try to find roles for frontline branch staff either within other branches or elsewhere in the Bank, wherever possible.

''However, there will inevitably be employee number reductions as a result of these changes.

''We anticipate that around 200 Clydesdale Bank staff will be at risk of redundancy and subject to our redeployment process.

''All employees affected by these changes will be fully supported through the process.''

Gavin Opperman, customer banking director, Clydesdale Bank, 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.''