Savings bank to shut doors in September
Airdrie Savings Bank (ASB) will close the doors of its final branch on Friday, September 8.
The Stirling Street headquarters will no longer be open to customers after that date, although a small team of staff will continue to be based there to complete the wind-down of the 182-year-old institution.
Remaining customers who have not yet closed deposit accounts are being asked to do so; while the bank’s buildings, including its former branches in Coatbridge and Bellshill, are currently on the market.
Staff and customers were informed in January that ASB, Britain’s last independent savings bank, was to close down due to the long-term challenges posed by digital-era banking and increased financial regulation.
Its Coatbridge and Bellshill branches shut in April, with its current accounts, cards and internet banking being withdrawn at the same time; the bank’s portfolio of mortgages and secured loans have been transferred to TSB.
The remaining Airdrie branch is now seeing“customer footfall [of] under 100 a week”, while 29 staff members remain at the branch and headquarters, compared to 107 at the start of the year.
Bank chief executive Rod Ashley said: “The closure of the original Airdrie branch will be, of course, one of the final milestones in what has been a very orderly and smooth wind-down.
“The final phase will continue after the branch closes, and the headquarters will remain open for as long as is necessary to complete this process.”
Mr Ashley added:“Categorically correct as the decision was to implement a phased end to business activities, the final branch closure will be both a sad and historic moment for the institution and its loyal customers, as well as Airdrie, Lanarkshire and the independent savings bank movement.”
Mr Ashley said that“thousands of deposit accounts still remain open”but added:“It’s not surprising or unusual, even at this late stage.
“Many have been dormant for some time and hold relatively small amounts of money. However, we encourage anyone who has or believes they may have an account with us to pop into the branch before it closes on September 8.
“Even after the Airdrie branch closure, customers will still be able to get their money back; arrangements will be put in place to ensure this.”
Bank officials confirmed that its Stirling Street headquarters and branch building is on the market, along with the two-storey bank office block across the road and the Coatbridge and Bellshill buildings, saying:“Agreement has been reached for the sale of the Bellshill property and there has been interest in the others.”
End of era The 182-year-old institution will no longer be open to customers