SANTANDER'S only East Renfrewshire branch has escaped closure.

The banking giant annouced today that 140 of it stores across the UK was facing the axe.

The Newton Mearns branch at The Avenue on Ayr Road, however, is to remain open but its sister branch in Renfrew is to close.

Santander has said it is consulting with unions and will seek to find alternative roles for 1,270 employees affected by the closures. It expects to redeploy about a third across the group.

The move comes as the number of transactions carried out at Santander branches fell by 23 per cent over the past three years, while transactions online and on mobile phones have soared by 99 per cent.

Susan Allen, head of retail and business banking at Santander, said: "The way our customers are choosing to bank with us has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more customers using online and mobile channels.

"As a result, we have had to take some very difficult decisions over our less visited branches, and those where we have other branches in close proximity."