Warning that Hawick TSB changes much not lead to closure

Local MP John Lamont has said that the closure of Hawick’s TSB two days a week must not be a prelude to another branch closure in the Borders.

The branch has announced that from the end of July, the branch will only be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, citing a fall in customer numbers as the reason. Hawick lost its Clydesdale branch in 2016 and its RBS last year.

Local MP John Lamont has written to managers at TSB warning them that the town will not react well if this change is just an excuse to close the branch.

And he is urging Teries to make sure they use the TSB as often as possible in a bid to keep their branch open.

The news comes as the Scottish Affairs Committee is looking at access to cash and banking as part of an enquiry expected to recommend further safeguards to prevent banks and ATMs being taken away from communities.

Commenting, John Lamont MP said: “Time and time again we see services like bank branches cutting their hours as a step to full closure. Making it less convenient to visit a bank inevitably reduces usage and gives the bank an excuse to close a branch completely.

“I am determined that this should not be allowed to happen. Losing another bank would be a big blow to Hawick which would threaten all the positive work being done in the town.

“I’ve written to TSB to make this clear to them, but I’d also urge Teries to make sure they use their branch as much as possible.

“On the Scottish Affairs Committee we are looking at the impact the loss of these services has on communities. After the RBS closures and now this news, it is clear to me that more needs to be done to protect vital banking services in the Borders.”