THE decision to close the Largs TSB branch will be a massive body blow to the vibrancy of the town centre, according to local politicians.

The Main Street branch will close in April, with councillors this week joining forces to condemn the decision.

Jobs at the branch will go, although bank bosses this week told the News they hope a voluntary redundancy package and training programme to support those leaving the business will soften the impact.

The nearest TSB branch will now be in Greenock’s Oak Mall or Irvine High Street.

Local councillors from all parties have come together to express their disappointment at the decision.

Labour councillor Alex Gallagher said: “It is a huge blow to any town to lose a facility like this and particularly cruel on those workers who will lose their jobs and the customers who would still prefer to use the branch.

“The loss of local bank branches is part of the reason why Labour at North Ayrshire Council are exploring the establishment of a community bank.”

Conservative councillor Tom Marshall added: “I’m disappointed and this follows on from the closure last year of the Clydesdale Bank and Santander in the town.

“It now leaves Largs with only the Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank."

Councillor Alan Hill said: "I am disappointed at the TSB's decision.

“This is not good news for Largs and especially not good news for our older residents, many of whom still prefer to deal with their financial affairs face to face.”

Independent Ian Murdoch added: “It’s very disappointing and will have a detrimental effect on the town centre, as do all business that shut down.

“This will have a serious impact on TSB customers who no longer have a presence on the high street and it could also affect older people who now feel isolated without a friendly face to go to for advice.”

MSP Kenneth Gibson described the decision as 'deeply concerning'.

He added: “Closing local bank branches, at a time when many people are feeling isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is not just an inconvenience. The Largs TSB branch is hugely important to the community.”

The company says 94 per cent of customers can travel to a branch in 20 minutes or less under the new structure.

A TSB spokesperson said: “The decision to close the Largs branch has not been taken lightly, but was made due to a significant change in customer behaviour as more use digital banking services.

“We are enhancing our partnership with the Post Office, which is 0.1 miles away, giving customers the ability to deposit and withdraw cash using a card.

“Additionally, two cash machines serve the community – both 0.1 miles away from the branch.”

The Main Street branch had already had its opening hours cut two days a week. It will officially close on April 26.