Unite union have written to politicians at Holyrood demanding support for workers affected by the closure of 12 Virgin Money branches across Scotland.
It comes as the Broughty Ferry Virgin Money branch announced its January closure, last month.
The financial service company blamed the decision on a drop in transactions and footfall.
Over 70 to be made redundant
Broughty Ferry is amongst 12 other branch closures across Scotland where Unite estimates that over 70 employees will likely be made redundant.
A further 19 branches in England, are also expected to close.
The union have written to politicians at Holyrood and Westminister to support communities and workers hit by the nationwide closures.
Unite have also called on the Scottish Affairs Select Committee to hold an inquiry into the proposed branch closures to examine the impact it will have on workers and communities.
Members have highlighted similar work by the committee in 2018, where an inquiry was held into the closure of 62 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) branches across Scotland and 10 branches were later spared of closure.
After the announcement, the Broughty Ferry branch was accused of being disloyal to its customers by ward Councillor Craig Duncan over its “baffling” decision to close its branch just months after it went through a rebrand.
‘It’s got to stop’
Debbie Hutchings, Unite industrial officer, said: “Unite has written to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Affairs Select Committee to enlist their support on behalf of the workers and the local communities who will be left behind by Virgin Money’s shameful branch closure plan.”
“We do not believe Virgin Money has understood the importance of these local banks, and the huge impact it will have on communities across Scotland.
“It’s completely unacceptable that a banking giant can just ruthlessly run roughshod over workers, communities and businesses without any sense of social responsibility.
“In Scotland, we unfortunately have an appalling track record of banks closing branches and leaving communities behind without a care in the world for the damage they are inflicting.
“It’s got to stop, and it can only stop if the politicians work with us to hold Virgin Money accountable for their actions.
“We need Holyrood and Westminster to intervene so that we can save these branches and maintain the vital lifeline that these banks provide for people and workers.”
Scottish Affairs Committee ‘sympathetic’ to calls
Chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, Pete Wishart MP said he was “sympathetic” to the union’s calls.
He said: “I’m totally sympathetic, these are issues which interest the committee and we’ve looked at it in the past and we’ll be raising it with colleagues to see if there’s anything we can do to support and assist.
“It’s certainly something that would be of interest to the committee given our track record and experience of looking at issues such as this.”
Scottish Government funding
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “Banks must take into account the needs of all customers, and that is why we have pressed regulators, banking providers and the UK Government to ensure that local banking services, in particular access to cash services, remain accessible to all.
“There needs to be a long term, sustainable banking service for all communities and the Scottish Government will continue to work with banks to ensure that essential services remain accessible to all.
“During the pandemic, we increased support for town centres recognising the importance they play in our economic, social and environmental well-being, and are working collaboratively with the sector.
“The recently published independent review of our Town Centre Action Plan recognised that ‘incredible’ partnership across government and communities in facing the pandemic threat.
“Our Place Based Investment Programme, backed with a five-year commitment of £325 million, will include support for town centres, 20 minute neighbourhoods and community regeneration.”