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Bank customers face six-mile trip after closure of Aberdeen branch – Evening Express

Bank of Scotland customers in an Aberdeen community are facing a six-mile round trip to access services after the closure of their local branch.

The Tullos branch of the bank is set to shut on March 9, meaning those who used it will need to travel to Upperkirkgate to find their nearest bank.

The action was taken as part of a raft of closures across the north-east announced last month, which will also affect Huntly and Turriff.

The Huntly branch is set to shut on March 29, while the Turriff closure is earmarked for March 30.

In a letter to the bank, local MSP Liam Kerr raised concerns about the potential impact of the shuttering of the Tullos branch on vulnerable groups, saying it comes at a “particularly worrying time” and calling on bosses to reconsider.

In its response, the bank revealed 170 people still use the branch on a “regular monthly basis”, and that 90% of users are personal customers.

‘Closing the door on the elderly’

Mr Kerr said: “The current restrictions are particularly tough but when we emerge, there simply must be accommodation for our elderly and vulnerable.

“Many aren’t able to do online banking and are more at risk of being targeted by scams.

“The elderly are having the door closed on them and they shouldn’t be abandoned.

“I’m glad staff have been relocated to the Upperkirkgate branch and haven’t lost their jobs.

“But for elderly customers, they now face a two-hour walk, or an hour round trip on the bus to and from the city centre.

“I understand some of the reasons for the closures but its vital shared banking hub options are explored by the banks to serve our communities.”

The response from the Bank of Scotland says their personal and business customers are able to withdraw money, check their balance and pay in both money and cheques at the Post Office, with the closest branch to Tullos on nearby Wellington Road.

It also explains that the counter service at the branch was most recently 20% quieter than the preceding year, adding: “In Tullos 60% of our customers are using other branches and 84% do their banking in other ways, including over the telephone or online.

“This is the result of a fundamental structural change in the way in which customers are choosing to bank, shop, and fulfil their day-to-day needs.”

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