Bank of Scotland to close Wooler branch
The Bank of Scotland has announced that it is closing its branch in Wooler as well as Borders branches in Coldstream and Newtown St Boswells.
The Wooler branch will close on October 23, the Coldstream branch on October 26 and Newton St Boswells on October 19.
The bank says that the decision has been made following a drop in customer numbers, and has indicated it intends to replace the branches with a mobile van service.
They are among the 100 Lloyd, Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches being closed - 54 Lloyds bank branches, 22 Halifax branches and 24 Bank of Scotland branches - between July and October this year.
The writing was on the wall for Coldstream when its opening hours were reduced to two days a week in 2015.
The news means that there will now be no permanent banking services for either communities after the Royal Bank of Scotland closed its branch in Newtown a few years ago.
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Local MSP John Lamont has strongly criticised the decision, saying that the move will see these communities lose a key service and he has asked for a meeting with senior management of the Bank of Scotland.
John Lamont MSP said: “This is very concerning news and I am deeply disappointed that the Bank of Scotland have chosen to shut these branches. This move will see communities lose a key service, in addition to putting jobs under threat.
“I know that the branches in Coldstream and Newtown St Boswells are highly valued by those in the community who use them, and many of these customers will be angered to hear this news. It now means a total withdrawal of banking service for Newtown and Coldstream.
“Although the Bank of Scotland says that customer numbers have been falling, I know that these branches are used by local businesses and people who struggle to bank online or over the phone.
“The Coldstream branch moved to reduced opening hours in 2015, despite being very heavily used in what now appears to be a move towards closing the bank entirely.”