Changes ahead for local banks

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THE FORFAR and Kirriemuir brances of Lloyds TSB will join hundreds of others across the UK as they are taken over by the Co-operative bank.

Other Angus branches which will be affected include Arbroath, Carnoustie, Brechin and Montrose.

Across the UK, 632 branches will be taken over following the Lloyds TSB breach of European Union rules on state aid.

Around £4.8million customers and 7,000 members of staff will make the move from Lloyds TSB to Co-operative group who will re-brand the branches as the centuries old TSB.

It is understood that each branch has sold for the “rock-bottom” price of just £553,000.

Peter Marks, chief executive of the Co-operative group, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing that we have reached agreement in principle with Lloyds Banking Group on the terms of this important and transformational transaction. This deal would deliver the biggest shake-up in high street banking in a generation. Consequently, we believe this would be a great deal for customers, for the public, for UK banking generally and for The Co-operative Group, in particular.

“It would be a great deal for customers because it would make the services of our member-owned, customer-led, ethically-driven, bank available to millions of people we’ve not been able to serve up until now.

“It would be a great deal for the taxpayer because as well as receiving a fair price up front, the deal would also mean they would share in the profits of the enlarged bank for years to come.”

“Now we can provide a big bank, a challenger bank, that people can really trust.”

Mike Weir, Angus MP, has given a cautious welcome to the news: “Clearly this is good news in that these branches will be retained in our towns ensuring that there remains a real choice in banking facilities.

“It is ironic that the TSB brand will be making a come back, although temporarily.

“At a time when confidence in banks is at an all time low it is encouraging to see the Co operative, a mutual bank, making a major expansion into our High Streets.

“Hopefully this will see some return to more traditional banking.”

He added: “I understand existing staff jobs will be transferred to the new bank, which is also good news for local employment.”