Pensioners’ fury over closure of village bank

4-06-2015 Picture Jamie Forbes. Muirhead. Airdrie Saving Bank closing. Cllr Frances McGlinchey and some local residents outside the bank.
4-06-2015 Picture Jamie Forbes. Muirhead. Airdrie Saving Bank closing. Cllr Frances McGlinchey and some local residents outside the bank.

Pensioners in a North Lanarkshire village are up in arms over the planned closure of 
an independent savings 
bank in the area.

The Airdrie Savings Bank in Cumbernauld Road, Muirhead, is one of four branches being scrapped with the loss of a total of 20 jobs.

The move, according to the bank, is a result of changes in branch usage and unsustainable operating costs.

Members of Muirhead and District Seniors Forum have slammed the closure and are being backed by local councillor Frances 
McGlinchey.

Councillor McGlinchey said: “If this bank is to close, it will have a serious negative impact on the community.

“It is a well used branch by the community and we have an elderly population who like to use branch offices rather than internet banking.

“Elderly people would have to travel to Coatbridge for the nearest Airdrie Savings Bank. “There is a Royal Bank of Scotland in Stepps but transport can be problematic.”

She added: “Muirhead and Chryston is a hub and we need services within the area for a sustainable community to thrive and prosper.

“We are been subjected to increased housing development without services needed to support communities.”

Secretary of the seniors’ forum, Norman Lancaster, said: “I wish to make a serious condemnation on behalf of Muirhead and District Seniors’ Forum of the impending closure of the Airdrie Savings Bank in Muirhead.

“This is a bank widely used in our area and to transfer to Coatbridge or another bank will prove difficult for the elderly and others who have health and transport concerns.

“Airdrie Savings Bank executives have to give serious thought to this decision.”

ASB chief executive Rod Ashley said: “We have remained committed to Muirhead for a decade longer than any other bank.

“However, there simply isn’t the volume of customer traffic to make it sustainable.

“We remain committed to working with customers on options for accessing funds, which includes telephone and online banking or utilising the nearby Coatbridge branch which is six miles and a 17-minute bus journey away.”