As more bank cuts affect communities

CYBG turning city branch into SME co-working centre

CYBG Clydesdale George St

George St branch in Edinburgh

CYBG, owner of Clydesdale Bank, is hoping to counter criticism of its branch closure programme by boosting its services to SMEs.

It will evolve its giant branch in the centre of Edinburgh into a co-working space for SME customers. The George Street outlet is expected to adopt the B Works brand which has been successful in London, Manchester and Birmingham, providing a range of services for businesses.

Helen Page, brand and marketing director at CYBG, told the CBI Scotland lunch in Edinburgh: “We are hoping to convert our George Street branch into co-working centre.”

The branch, which opened in January 2017, is housed in a former Waterstones bookshop and replaced the bank’ operations in Clydesdale Plaza, in Lothian Road.

Ms Page said the bank is redefining the role and purpose of its retail presence on the high street with B Works.

The announcement followed outrage at the bank’s decision to close more branches, including its last branch in St Andrews. Customers have been told they will have to travel to Dundee to find their nearest branch.

MP Stephen Gethins said: “North East Fife has been hit hard by the closure of several bank branches and post offices across the area in recent years.” 

Clydesdale also announced its Brora branch will close from August following a “difficult decision” in order to meet “changing consumer demand”.

The closure will leave customers with no permanent bank of any kind in the community, forcing them to travel more than 46 miles north or south to the nearest Clydesdale branches in Dingwall and Wick.

East Sutherland and Edderton councillor Deirdre Mackay said: “They have provided advice on services offered by the Post Office and we haven’t had a permanent post office in Brora for over a year. It’s really rubbed salt into the wound. They haven’t done their homework.”

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