BANK bosses are under fire after confirming they are to shut two branches in East Renfrewshire.

The TSB will close its base in Cross Arthurlie Street, Barrhead, in April, with the shutters also coming down at the branch in Busby Road, Clarkston, in July.

Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur has described the decision to close the Barrhead hub as “deeply disappointing.”

He said: “I have written to TSB, seeking information and clarification on a number of issues as a matter of urgency.

“While the closure is not scheduled to take place until Spring of next year, my office stands ready to assist constituents, including staff and customers who will be affected.”

The Barrhead branch, which has three members of staff, will be the first of 17 in Scotland to be axed by TSB.

Across the UK, the firm is to close 82 branches next year, with an estimated 370 jobs said to be affected.

Campaigners at Age Scotland have described the closures as “another slap in the face to loyal bank customers, especially those who are older, disabled or don’t have internet access.”

Adam Stachura, the charity’s head of policy, added: “It’s extremely disappointing to see yet another bank put profits ahead of its customers, particularly those who need to use a branch most.

“This will undoubtedly make it harder for people to access their finances and manage their money on a daily basis. We know older people are more likely to prefer a face-to-face service. Seven in 10 over-65s don’t use online banking, so they are being left behind with the march to digital banking by default.

“Bank branches have been disappearing from our high streets at an alarming rate. We would encourage banks to consider creative alternatives to outright closures, such as shared branches, with several banks splitting the cost of staff and premises between them while offering a valuable face-to-face service.”

Earlier this year, TSB announced it was cutting the opening hours at its branches in Barrhead, Clarkston and Thornliebank.

Now it has confirmed even worse news for those who prefer to do their banking face-to-face.

However, TSB has defended its decision to close branches.

Robin Bulloch, customer banking director at TSB, said: “We have made the difficult decision to close some of our quieter branches and 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.”