HELENSBURGH'S branch of the TSB is NOT among those set to close following an announcement by the banking firm on Thursday.

The bank announced earlier this week that 82 of its branches across the UK will close next year, as part of a cost-cutting programme.

And on Thursday the firm confirmed that 17 branches in Scotland would shut permanently between April and September of 2020 – but that the 17 would not include Helensburgh.

The bank's Dumbarton branch will close in July, while other branches in the west of Scotland to be axed include those in Milngavie, Barrhead, Bishopbrigggs, Uddingston, Carluke, Givan and Wishaw.

Earlier this year, the Spanish-owned bank announced significant cuts to opening hours at its Helensburgh branch and at 70 others across Scotland.

READ MORE: TSB to slash opening hours at its Helensburgh branch

Since the end of July, its East Princes Street branch has been open only on Tuesdays and Fridays – a move the bank, like many others before it, blamed on a fall in customer usage as more and more people choose to do their banking online.

The decision followed hot on the heels of the decision by another Spanish-owned bank, Santander, to close its Helensburgh branch completely.

The Santander branch shut for good in April; its former home, on the corner of Sinclair Street and West Princes Street, is now understood to be "under offer", though the identity of the new occupant is not yet known.

The TSB branches which will close altogether next year are those in Barrhead (April), Govan, Bishopbriggs, Milngavie, Portobello, Jedburgh and Kinross (May) Tain and Uddingston (June), Dumbarton, Carluke, Clarkston, Brechin and Edinburgh's Clerk Street (July), and Wishaw and Morningside (September).

In a statement, TSB said its network had become difficult to sustain, with low customer numbers at "a significant number" of branches.

READ MORE: Santander's Helensburgh branch closes for the final time

Chief executive Debbie Crosbie said: "There is no doubt we have got challenges to face.

"Put simply, the biggest barrier for TSB's future is that we're much more expensive to run than our competition."

Customer banking director Robin Bulloch added: "We will fully support customers through this transition.

"We realise this is difficult news for our branch partners and will do everything to support those affected to offer voluntary redundancies and redeploy as many people as we can to other roles."

It also said that in the past two years alone, branch transactions had dropped by 17 per cent as customers increasingly chose to bank online or by phone.

When the closure programme is complete, TSB will have 134 branches in Scotland and 454 across the UK as a whole.

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