TSB in Forres set to close its doors in 2022
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THE Forres branch of TSB is set to close its doors in 2022 – leaving the town with just one other bank.
TSB, located at 156 High Street, will shut in April as part of a string of UK-wide closures.
There are no plans for a mobile bank to replace the branch in Forres.
The town will be left with just a Bank of Scotland, after the closure of Clydesdale Bank in 2015 and RBS in 2017.
TSB is due to close 70 of its 290 branches across the United Kingdom, with all staff affected by the closures to be offered alternate roles.
Closures have been put down to a reduction in branch use amid a move to digital – with more than 90 per cent of customer transactions now carried out online.
Chief customer officer for TSB Robin Bulloch 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 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."
Moray's SNP MSP Richard Lochhead is seeking an urgent meeting with TSB to attempt to convince them to reconsider plans.
He believes the closure will hit the most vulnerable in the local area.
He said: "These plans will come as a blow to the local community and will leave the town with just one remaining bank.
“Communities in Moray have had more than their fair share of bank closures over the years and I know TSB customers in Forres will be deeply disappointed to hear this news.
“I have written urgently to the chief executive of TSB seeking a meeting to discuss the future of the Forres branch and have urged the company to reconsider this decision.
“It is completely unacceptable that we’re getting to a situation where the only branches left locally are in Elgin.
“Rural towns and communities across Moray feel abandoned by the big banks and, sadly, this decision will hit vulnerable people the hardest – many of whom won’t be in a position to travel to access services elsewhere or to simply move their banking online.
"Banks need to step up and find a way to protect services in rural communities and, if the banks continue to do nothing, then the UK Government must act to ensure that people in communities like Forres can access the vital services they need.”
Moray's Conservative MP Douglas Ross added: "The loss of these banks from local high streets leaves some people in difficulty with relation to accessing their banking services.
“Large parts of Scotland are now akin to banking deserts as towns and villages are being abandoned whilst these organisations cater for online demand.
"Many homes in our area still don’t have access to superfast broadband, which can make online banking difficult, while local businesses still need somewhere to deposit cash at the end of the day or week."