Closing branches is a significant u-turn on its expansion plans unveiled in 2010 when it attracted £10 million in investment from a number of Scottish tycoons. In the wake of the financial crisis, they claimed it represented a “role model for the way banks should be”.
Sir Brian Souter (above), Ann Gloag, Sir Angus Grossart, Sir David Murray, Ewan Brown, Alastair Salvesen and Sir Tom Farmer opened deposit accounts in a symbolic gesture of disillusionment with the bigger banks.
Today it confirmed there will also be some restructuring of back office operations as the bank seeks to modernise its processes.
Chief executive Rod Ashley said: “ASB operated for many years as a traditional branch-based bank.
“More recently, we have modernised our service delivery by offering online banking through our website and telephone banking through our customer contact centre.
“These improvements have proven extremely popular by providing customers with easy access to our services, when and how they choose.
“However, they have required significant and ongoing investment at a time when the banking sector has had to address many financial and operational challenges, ranging from the increased costs of stronger regulatory requirements to higher transaction-processing costs.
“As a result, the board has concluded that for Airdrie Savings Bank to grow and expand its services to the communities it serves in the future, we need to close some branches that are unsustainable, due either to low customer footfall and demand or the cost of maintaining them to a satisfactory standard.”