THE future of face-to-face banking in Dumbarton and the Vale has been dealt a fresh blow with the news that the TSB is to significantly cut opening hours at its two local branches.

From the end of July, the branch in Dumbarton’s High Street will only be open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – a move the bank, like many others before it, has blamed on a fall in customer usage as more and more people choose to do their banking online.

And its Main Street branch in Alexandria will only be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

A spokesman for the TSB said the bank was “in the process of letting our customers of these branches know about the proposed changes”.

He added: “Our customers use banking services in different ways and that is why we try to adapt our offer to deliver them the best possible service however they choose to bank.

“This means investment in both branches and digital channels.

“With fewer people using some of our branches, we are reviewing the number of hours some of them open.

We have more than 150 branches across the country and 70 per cent of people in Scotland live within two miles of a TSB branch.

“Our branch partners are working with our customers to support them as we make these changes and there will be no job losses as a result of these changes.

“We will be advising customers of their nearest TSB branches, and it is worth mentioning that our customers can also complete many personal banking tasks at their local post offices.”

The bank’s decision has been criticised by Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie, who said: “While it is good news that TSB aren’t following the same pattern as other banks and closing their Dumbarton and Alexandria branches completely, it is disappointing to learn that they will be cutting their opening hours.

“It is clear that face-to-face banking is still vital for many people in our communities including older people and small businesses who rely on being able to deposit cash into a bank branch.

“I hope the TSB will review this decision.”