Sav­ings bank to shut doors in Septem­ber

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News -

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.”

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End of era The 182-year-old in­sti­tu­tion will no longer be open to cus­tomers

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