Plans to close one of Jedburgh’s two remaining banks have been described as a “hammer blow” for the town.
TSB today confirmed it will shut its Canongate branch, currently open just two days each week, in May next year.
Its other four branches in the Borders – at Galashiels, Kelso, Peebles and Hawick – are being spared, however.
The Jedburgh bank is one of 82 being closed across the UK as part of a plan to save £100m by 2022.
That’s a move being dubbed a great shame by Jedburgh councillor Jim Brown.
“It’s a hammer blow to the community”, he said. “Many people had moved to the TSB when we lost our Royal Bank of Scotland, thinking it would be a safe way to access banking services in the town face to face for the foreseeable future, but that’s not been the case.”
“It’s a number of well-paid jobs going out of the town centre and it leaves us with just two 24-hour cash ATMs available, not to mention another empty shop.”
After the TSB closes on May 13 next year, the town’s only remaining bank will be the Bank of Scotland in High Street. It has one 24-hour access ATM outside and there’s another at the Shell garage in Edinburgh Road.
“It’s a sign of the times,” Mr Brown added.
“People are moving away from cash transactions and the need to have cash in their pockets, but people do still enjoy the privacy of a bank, which raises concerns that more people will be forced to carry out banking transactions in a post office, both of which in Jedburgh are within convenience stores.
“That’s an issue because a lot of people don’t feel comfortable doing that. They miss the privacy of a bank over shops that are much more open.
“Understandably, people don’t like to do their financial affairs in such open view of others.”
TSB says it is reshaping its branch network to ensure it meets the changing needs of customers.
It expects around 370 jobs to be affected.
Robin Bulloch, customer banking director at TSB, said: “We have made the difficult decision to close 82 branches, today announcing the locations. We will fully support customers through this transition.
“We realise this is difficult news for our branch partners and will do everything to support those affected to offer voluntary redundancies and redeploy as many people as we can to other roles.”
Jedburgh’s Royal Bank of Scotland branch, in High Street, was one of five closed by the company in the Borders last year amid claims of falling footfall and increased use of online banking.
It was shut last June, and its sister branches at Hawick, Duns and Eyemouth were also axed that month, preceded by the scrapping of Selkirk’s RBS the month before.
The closure of Melrose’s RBS branch, one of 10 nationwide given a temporary reprieve, followed in January this year.