SANTANDER is to slash its branch numbers by more than 100.

Four branches in Scotland are affected by the move, which will see the bank shut 111 branches by the end of August.

Two branches in Glasgow, on Sauchiehall Street and Kilmarnock Road, one in Edinburgh, on Morningside Road, and one in Dalkeith have been earmarked for closure.

Santander said the decision was sparked by the ongoing shift towards mobile and online banking, which has accelerated during the pandemic.

The closures will leave the bank with a network of 452 branches across the UK.

According to Santander, branch transactions fell by 33 per cent in the two years before the pandemic, and by tumbled by a further 50% in 2020. At the same time, it noted, mobile and online transactions have each been growing at 20% per year.

Adam Bishop, head of branches at Santander, said: "Branch usage by customers has fallen considerably over recent years so we have made the difficult decision to consolidate our presence in areas where we have multiple branches relatively close together. The majority of the closing branches are within three miles of another branch and the furthest is five miles away.

“We will provide every support to customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs. We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles for those impacted wherever possible. We continue to believe that branches have an important role to play and we expect the size of our network to remain stable for the foreseeable future.

“We are committed to supporting our customers and responding to changes in the way customers want to access services.”