Bosses at Scotland’s last independent savings bank were this week slammed for making 20 people redundant and axing four branches.
Airdrie Savings Bank delivered the bombshell news to staff at their branches in Shotts, Motherwell, Bailleston and Muirend. These offices will shut for good on August 28 with 20 jobs at the risk of redundancy.
Bosses say it is part of the bank’s efforts to “modernise and restructure its services.”
However, Shotts MSP Alex Neil said: “I am clearly disappointed by this decision for the people of Shotts.
“I have been working with Airdrie Savings Bank, the Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Scottish Enterprise in an attempt to minimise job losses and to help ensure a prosperous future for the bank.
“I am thankful to my Scottish Government colleagues and for the support provided by Scottish Enterprise.
“I will continue to work with the bank and with my constituents impacted by this decision.”
Shotts MP Neil Gray MP said:“I am very sorry that Airdrie Savings Bank has been forced into this decision. I will be meeting the management along with Alex Neil this week to further discuss the potential impact.
“Closing the branch in Shotts is sadly another blow .
“This only strengthens the argument for the need for Shotts to be recognised as a town to lever new investment in the community.
“I will be available and will do my best to help constituents who may be impacted by this decision.”
Shotts councillor Tommy Cochrane said the announcement was another hammer blow to Shotts.
He added: “I am totally shocked Shotts is losing this banking service, another erosion of my community.Recently we lost banking services in Harthill and it’s looking like our remaining post office is also to be downgraded. This follows downgrading of Allanton, Salsburgh and Stane post offices and the removal of our Royal mail sorting office.
“Whilst other towns rightfully get millions spent on regeneration, Shotts is being left to turn into a ghost town.
“Shotts is needing investment badly. I again call on North Lanarkshire Council to give us “town” status, work with developers to bring new life into our communities and work towards town centre regeneration that my community is in dire need of.”
Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland said he was disappointed and added: “The Motherwell branch was only set up 20 years ago, but it was established because there was a clear demand and there are still many people who need their service. Not everybody wants or is even able to bank online or by phone, and they are the people who are most affected. I think we need to take a broad look at the sector and how it operates in our communities.”