CLYDESDALE Bank’s presence on the Scottish high street is to contract further after its owner swung the axe on five more branches, raising the spectre of compulsory redundancies at the Glasgow-based institution.

Owner CYBG has announced that the Clydesdale branches in Arbroath, Largs, Brora, St Andrews and in Shettleston, Glasgow, are to shut, with the closures beginning in August.

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With the exception of Glasgow, the closures mean Clydesdale will ultimately no longer have a branch presence in the towns affected.

CYBG, which last year merged with Virgin Money, said it would strive to find roles for affected staff in other branches or elsewhere within the bank.

But it said a “small number of colleagues will be at risk of redundancy”. A spokeswoman later put that number at 25.

The latest closures come after the bank pulled the plug on nearly 80 branches across the UK in 2016, including 40 in Scotland, with that move expected to have resulted in 400 redundancies.

Prior to that announcement, CYBG had 248 branches, 111 branded Clydesdale and 137 trading as Yorkshire Bank. With two further Clydesdale branches shutting their doors last year, the latest closures leave the bank with 62 branches in Scotland, meaning the network north of the Border has nearly halved since 2016.

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CYBG cited falling usage at the five latest branches to be affected by its closure programme, and noted that the number of customers using branches for day to day transactions has been in decline across the industry for a number of years.

Royal Bank of Scotland has also cited declining footfall as it has slashed its own network in recent years. In late 2017 the state-backed institution shut 60 branches in Scotland, more than one-third of its then total.

CYBG said it has been investing heavily in technology to help customers manage their finances digitally.