BANKING in Garnock Valley was dealt another blow this week with the announcement of the planned closure of two TSB branches.

The banks in Dalry and Beith are set to shut in June and will leave just one bank in the town of Beith and Dalry with none and customers will have to travel in order to use face-to-face facilities.

This is the second such closure announcement for Beith in as many months after Clydesdale said that they would be shutting stores across the country, including in Saltcoats.

And the news has been met with anger from across the political spectrum.

A statement on TSB’s website said: “Whilst we continue to focus on upgrading the places that people use the most, we also have to manage the locations where customer visits have fallen and where we have two branches reasonably close to each other. There are 38 places where, as a result of changing local usage patterns, we will close a branch in 2017. ”

Kenneth Gibson MSP, told the Herald: “This is a real body blow for Dalry, as it will mean closure of the last bank in the town following the closure of the Royal Bank of Scotland branch a couple of years ago.

“For Beith it is a double whammy, after the Clydesdale Bank announced the closure of its Beith branch just last month.

“It seems that the needs of customers are being ignored in a headlong rush to stampede them into online banking.

“Whilst such decisions are taken for commercial reasons by private companies and are not under the control of local, Scottish or UK governments I believe we should still fight to change their minds and that is what I intend to do.”

John Bell, Labour Councillor for Kilbirnie and Beith said: “The news that the TSB and Clydesdale banks have announced plans to close their branches in Beith is very disappointing. This will leave the Bank of Scotland which is only open two days a week as the only personal banking facility in the town.”

Joy Brahim, SNP council candidate for Dalry and West Kilbride said: “Residents are really concerned about what this loss will mean for Dalry. I am launching a petition today to try and convince TSB to keep the bank open.”