Local banks’ opening hours to be reduced

Bank of Scotland's Coldstream branch is to go down from opening five days a week to two days a week.
Bank of Scotland's Coldstream branch is to go down from opening five days a week to two days a week.

Bank of Scotland has informed customers that from March 16, 2015, its Coldstream branch will only open on two days a week and the Duns branch three days.

Coldstream’s opening hours will be Tuesdays and Thursdays 9am-5pm, and Duns Bank of Scotland branch will open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Bank of Scotland is the only bank in Coldstream and customers were told: “The nearest extended opening branch to Coldstream is in Kelso.

“This branch is open six days a week and offers a broader range of products and services than our Coldstream branch, such as mortgages.”

A Bank of Scotland spokesperson told us: “We regularly review the opening hours of branches to follow the patterns of how and when our customers bank.

“The decision to offer banking facilities three days in Duns and two days in Coldstream has been taken so that we then have sufficient staff to offer customers a fuller banking service on those days.

“The branch ATMs, online and mobile banking will continue to operate a 24 hour service.

“We understand that there may be a small number of customers impacted by this change and are sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause.”

John Lamont MSP said: “This is very disappointing news and will force customers to travel to Kelso to use the branch there. This would be a serious inconvenience for elderly residents and those who do not drive.

“I have requested a meeting with Bank of Scotland so that I can discuss the views of residents and the importance of banking services in Duns and Coldstream.”

Coldstream & District Community Council chairman, Martin Brims, commented: “It is yet another example of a service that is diminishing from the rural landscape. Whilst I am sure that the bank’s senior management have sound commercial reasons for their proposals, it is hard to see how such proposals reconcile with the needs and aspirations of their customers.

“On a practical level - the community council has been in contact with HBOS about the number of times the ATM is out of commission. For whatever reason it seems to be particularly unreliable – if these proposals were to go ahead I am sure our community would wish to have robust assurances that these outages would not occur on the five days out of seven when the bank isn’t open.

“The bank will also need to mitigate the impact on local traders and businesses.”