HIGH streets across Scotland face a new wave of bank branch closures with ten Santander branches shutting this year.

It has emerged that the Spanish-owned bank is closing 46 bank branches across the UK with just over one in four north of the border.

Proposals for closure, seen by the Herald show that there are ten are to be axed between May 31 and November 29 with four in Glasgow, two in Edinburgh and others closing in Milngavie, Lockerbie, Linlithgow and Clarkston.

The Herald:

Axed: The Shawlands branch

Santander are understood to have closed 36 branches across the UK last year, with three in Dundee, Edinburgh's Newington Road and Largs in Scotland.

It comes after Santander UK, part of Spain’s Banco Santander, cut 29 percent of its network in the five years since 2011, leaving it with just 841 stores on the high street in 2016, according to research by Retail Banker International.

RBS told to scrap branch closures after bank's first profit in a decade

The Federation of Small Businesses Scotland (FSB) claims Scotland has lost five high street branches every fortnight over the past two years.

Sister group Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) on Wednesday urged the Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), the owner of Bank of Scotland to halt its controversial branch closure programme, after the institution unveiled a 23 per cent hike in profits to £1.6 billion for the first quarter of the year.

The Herald:

Axed: The Santander branch in St John's Road, Edinburgh

Concerns were raised for Scottish jobs last week after LBG announced more than 1,200 roles are to be axed as it plans to shut another 49 branches across the UK.

Taxpayer-owned RBS sparked fury earlier this year with plans to close 62 branches across Scotland. They were forced into a partial U-turn, with the closure of 10 branches now on hold.

Clydesdale Bank have also announced plans to further reduce their branch network in Scotland.

Bank giant under pressure to halt branch closures

Colin Borland, FSB’s head of devolved nations, said: “Bank branch closures hurt the high street and make it more difficult to do business. Therefore it is hugely disappointing to hear that another bank is choosing to move with the herd and withdraw local services.

“By our estimation, 250 Scottish bank branches have closed or have been scheduled to close in the last two years alone. That’s 250 holes on Scottish high streets – and thousands of cash-based businesses facing disruption. At the very least, we want to see the banks working much harder to provide realistic non-branch alternatives for their business customers.”

An Abbey National advert from the early 1970s featuring the Get The Abbey Habit slogan.  Santander took over Abbey National branches 14 years ago

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has called for an urgent meeting with Santander chief executive Nathan Bostock over the plans to close the Lockerbie branch having described the RBS decision as "community vandalism".

In a letter to Mr Bostock she said: "I am astounded that Santander bosses would make such a decision, expecially in the wake of the community vandalism we are seeing from the Royal Bank of Scotland, who only in the last few months announced that they would be closing their Lockerbie branch. "Many local customers have chosen to move their banking services to Santander for this very reason, so this decision really does add insult to injury.

The Herald: Joan McAlpine

"Local banking services are vital to communities across Dumfries and Galloway and many people are still dependent on high street services. This is a lifeline services for some, particularly elderly constituents. "It is extremely important that banks listen to the needs of customers in the region and recognise that there is a continued need for face-to-face provision as well as cash withdrawal and deposit machines.

"I strongly urge you to reconsider this decision."

Lloyds jobs axe fears in Scotland as 49 branches close

Santander has said, as with other banks, that it its cuts are the result of a "detailed review" and take into account the fact customers are changing the way they choose to bank, with more and more people making use of phone, online, tablets and smartphones as well as at cash machines and Post Offices.

The bank said: "These changes mean some of our branches are being used less often and as a result there will be closures."

A Santander spokesperson said: “The way customers choose to bank with us is constantly changing so we regularly review our branch network to make sure it is meeting local customers’ needs. Sometimes this means making difficult decisions over our less utilised branches, particularly in locations where we have other branches in close proximity. 

The Herald: The Santander job cuts will hit staff at Abbey

“Therefore, as a result of our most recent review, we have announced that we will be closing six of our branches in Scotland in November 2018. This decision has not been taken lightly and follows a thorough examination of local trends in customer behaviour, branch and digital channel usage, and alternative options available to our local customers. 

RBS announces stay of execution for 10 closure-threatened branches

“We remain committed to developing and enhancing our branch network in Scotland and have refurbished all our largest and busiest branches. In addition, we wish to provide a range of convenient ways to bank with us.

"As an alternative option for those customers who want bank locally and in person, all Santander current and business account holders can use over 11,000 Post Office branches nationwide. Customers also have the option of either Online, Mobile or Telephone Banking, offering flexibility in when and how they can manage their money.”

The ten bank closures for 2018 in Scotland are:

  1. Clarkston: 28 June 2018.
  2. Edinburgh Princes Street: 31 May 2018
  3. Edinburgh St John's Street: 31 May 2018
  4. Glasgow 110 Kilmarnock Road: 29 November 2018.
  5. Glasgow Byres Road: 29 November 2018.
  6. Glasgow Bothwell Street: 29 November 2018
  7. Glasgow Partick Cross: 29 November 2018
  8. Linlithgow High Street: 31 May 2018
  9. Lockerbie: 29 November 2018
  10. Milngavie: 29 November 20