Bank bosses have been urged to consider the needs of communities already hit hard by the high street closures after it emerged a further two TSB branches are to slash opening hours.
TSB revealed plans scale back operations at its Cupar and Anstruther outlets to just three days a week from the end of July, prompting concerns rural areas could be adversely affected.
However, similar moves have also been proposed in Buckhaven and Burntisland in response to drops in footfall and the vast majority of customers regularly using other branches, digital or telephone banking.
TSB has stressed the moves were necessary to protect its physical presence in certain areas, rather than closing branches, and maintained there will be no job losses.
Despite this, a number of local politicians have already written to the bank’s hierarchy in a bid to convince them to reconsider.
SNP North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins said many of his constituents will be concerned, having moved their banking to TSB following bank closures in both Cupar and Anstruther.
He said: “TSB staff across North East Fife work very hard and their presence and contribution to local communities cannot be underestimated, including their support for local charities.
“They also offer a warm welcome to customers and I know for many that this personal interaction is very much valued.
“It is very concerning, therefore that both towns will have less of a service than they are used to.”
The Burntisland branch will be open on Tuesdays and Fridays between 9.30am and 12.30pm and 1.30pm and 4.30pm to coincide with the busiest times, with Kirkcaldy’s branch put forward as an alternative.
The Buckhaven branch will only be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with Leven touted as the nearest other option.
“We know the important role branches play and therefore the days these branches are open have been selected to coincide with the times the branch is busiest,” the TSB said.
“We will be contacting impacted customers from April 20 to let them know about our decision and we will also publish an impact assessment online and in these branches, which outlines the reasons for this change and options available to customers.
“Our partners in these branches will also be on hand to provide face-to-face advice and support for those customers most impacted and will be proactively reaching out to vulnerable customers.”
Local SNP MSP David Torrance said he was “extremely disappointed” by the decisions in relation to Buckhaven and Burntisland.
“Although the bank won’t be withdrawing from the area completely as other banks have done in recent years, this will still heavily impact the lives of many who rely on branches to manage their money,” he said.
”Banks are a vital link for the local community, especially cash handling businesses and the elderly who may prefer traditional branch banking to online or telephone methods.
“I will be monitoring the situation to assess the impact that these reductions will have on local businesses and my constituents.”