Midlothian MP's anger as Santander announces Dalkeith branch to close
Local MP Owen Thompson has hit out at Santander after it announced its Dalkeith branch will close on July 22.
The bank said it had taken the decision to close 111 branches across the UK because fewer customers were choosing to bank in branch.
Mr Thompson (SNP) said: "The continued shrinking of our bank branch network is just not acceptable. I realise many more people use online and mobile banking, but many people do not and this cannot be used as an excuse to cut costs - choice is important.
"Dalkeith is a busy town and it makes no sense to close this branch which was only recently refurbished. It will be extremely inconvenient for customers to take transport elsewhere to do their banking, and for many with mobility concerns that is not an option.
"I am writing today to Santander seeking further details of this decision, and see what provisions are being made to protect jobs as well as services.
"I will also be writing to the Treasury to raise concerns as sadly this has become all too common a story. I led a debate on bank branch closures just last year and the government cannot keep shrugging its shoulders.
"People are fed up with the lack of concern for community by the big banks."
A spokesperson for Santander told the Advertiser that 71 per cent of its Dalkeith branch customers manage their money through online, mobile or telephone banking.
Adding: “Our public affairs team have responded directly to Mr Thompson MP’s office.”
Meanwhile, commenting on the decision to close the 111 branches across the UK, Adam Bishop, Head of Branches, said: “Branch usage by customers has fallen considerably over recent years so we have made the difficult decision to consolidate our presence in areas where we have multiple branches relatively close together.
"The majority of the closing branches are within three miles of another branch and the furthest is five miles away.
“We will provide every support to customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs.
"We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles for those impacted wherever possible.
"We continue to believe that branches have an important role to play and we expect the size of our network to remain stable for the foreseeable future.
“We are committed to supporting our customers and responding to changes in the way customers want to access services.”