Rutherglen bank will remain open despite closures across the country

By Jonathan Geddes

The future of a Rutherglen bank has been secured for the immediate future.

Virgin Money says there are no plans to close the branch on the town's Main Street, despite announcing a spate of closures across the country.

That sparked concerns that the Rutherglen outlet would soon join them as the company accelerate its digital plans and cut costs on the high street.

Rutherglen and Cambuslang has seen numerous bank closures in recent years, which eventually prompted a banking hub to be trialled in Cambuslang earlier this year.

However, correspondence between Clare Haughey, the area's MSP, and Virgin Money shows a commitment from the bank not to close its Rutherglen branch.

The company states: "We have no plans to close Virgin Money’s Rutherglen store. However, we will constantly monitor how our customers engage with us and respond accordingly.

"We have seen a striking transformation in the way people are choosing to bank, with fewer people using our stores in favour of mobile, online and telephone banking. We will always respond to customer behaviours which can result in us making difficult decisions to close stores."

The company added that its decisions are made on a store by store basis.

Ms Haughey said: "The news of even more bank closures across Scotland and the UK is deeply concerning as we know just how vital they are for local communities.

"I am assured that Virgin Money have no plans to close its Rutherglen branch, however, I am not complacent. I will continually call for all banks operating locally to commit their long-term future to this area.

"As has been shown by the successful BankHUB pilot in Cambuslang, there is still a need for in-person banking services, particularly for local businesses and those without internet or telephone banking.”

Virgin Money intends to close 31 branches in the UK, including 12 in Scotland.

The lender said: "Emerging from the pandemic, the group continues to see greater appetite for digital self-service, with customers increasingly adopting digital channels.

"The group also continues to evolve its operating model to reduce real estate costs along with giving colleagues more flexibility, and to take opportunities to increase automation, leveraging technology throughout key processes."

Lanarkshire branches being axed include East Kilbride, Airdrie and Cumbernauld.

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