A busy Kinross bank has confirmed it will reduce its opening times to just six hours a week at the end of the month.
From July 29, the town’s TSB branch will only open on Tuesdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm, closing from 12.30 to 1.30pm for lunch in the middle of the day.
This leaves just six hours for residents to access the High Street branch. TSB has stressed the cutbacks will not result in any job losses.
The branch is currently open four days a week, between these same hours every weekday except Wednesdays, and is closed at the weekend.
With more than 150 branches in Scotland, TSB claim 70% of the country’s population live within two miles of a bank outlet.
Reluctant to follow in the footsteps of RBS and close the town’s branch permanently, the firm has explained the reduction is necessary to ensure financial viability.
Furthermore, bosses stated around 80% of Kinross account holders primarily use other branches instead, as well as various digital tools, to conduct their day-to-day banking services.
Management has advised residents to use the Cowdenbeath branch just under eight miles away if they need to access a bank urgently, with some services also available at the town’s Post Office.
A TSB spokesperson said: “Customers are changing the way they interact with us and over the past few years we have seen the usage of our Kinross branch continue to fall, with many customers increasingly using alternative TSB branches, online, mobile or telephone banking to access their banking services.
“Our principle aim is to try and stay within local communities so by reducing hours in some locations it allows us to do this.
“However, in order for them to remain viable, we do need local residents and small businesses to use our branches more for their wider financial needs.”
Conservative MSP Liz Smith, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “It is so disappointing to learn about this decision and l know many constituents across Kinross-shire will be inconvenienced as a result – certainly that was the message l was getting from several local people yesterday.
“We all understand that the nature of banking is changing but the sector needs to appreciate the difficulties these closures and reduced hours mean for many people, especially those in rural businesses who rely on their services so much.”