THE decision to close Clydebank Municipal Bank for good next year has been slammed as an “erosion of the town’s history”.

Marie McNair, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, told the Post that she is extremely disappointed that facility will shut permanently on March 31, 2023 – just after celebrating its 100th birthday last year.

It comes as West Dunbartonshire Council, which owns the bank, made the shock announcement last week, blaming the high cost of complying with changes in the law.

Marie McNair said: “I am extremely disappointed at the Council’s decision to close the municipal bank.

"It’s an erosion of our town’s history especially after 100 years of service. 

“There are many constituents, especially older residents who have accounts there. They are inconvenienced by this decision and I call on the Council to act in their interest to minimise the negative impact it will cause.”

The bank has 2,477 customers and of these, 414 are live accounts, meaning they have had transactions within the past 12 months. The remainder are considered to be dormant.

The council did not confirm how many employees work at the bank but it did say it is currently engaging with bank employees and trade unions in line with its redeployment framework.

In a statement published on the authority’s website, the council said the closure move was “due to a review of its operations finding that substantial financial investment would have to be made to ensure compliance with recent changes in regulatory requirements for anti-fraud and money laundering measures, and customer due diligence”.

The bank, which is located within the Clyde Shopping Centre, provides a savings facility to residents of West Dunbartonshire and beyond.

In response, Damon Scott, chief executive of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is unfortunate news and will, of course, be disappointing for customers.
“It is, however, not surprising that during a significant cost-crisis financially prudent decisions are having to be made by both the public and private sector.”

He added: “On a more positive note, interest rates for those who are in the position to save are on the rise and all the main banks and building societies and credit unions still provide an extremely safe option for managing and saving money. 

“Whilst there are reducing numbers of bricks and mortar branches, personal and business banking is adapting with local post offices starting to offer a wide range of face-to-face banking services and options.”

Customers of the bank – the oldest municipal bank in Scotland, and one of only two still in operation – will have to make alternative banking arrangements, move their funds, and close their accounts by March.

The council said that due to potential uncertainty regarding the closure, council employees will be on hand to offer customers support with the next steps.
Customers should arrange to close their accounts as soon as possible.