Airdrie Savings Bank is no more

Airdrie Savings Bank is no more

Airdrie Savings Bank (ASB), the only remaining independent savings bank in the UK, is closing down for good.

The bank has announced it’s preparing for a “phased end to all business activities”.

It says it will help customers to move to other banks. The loan book is being taken over by TSB.

70 jobs are set to be lost.

According to ASB’s chairman, Jeremy Brettell, whilst the bank is “financially strong”, it will not have sufficient resources in the years ahead to operate successfully “in this increasingly digital world” – due to being “a very small bank”.

ASB has been around since 1835, and ran out of a church and two Airdrie shops, until its first branch was opened in 1883.

However, the bank has failed to modernise its business, technology and operations over the last decade.

It downsized its branch network over the last two years. At this point, it has just two branches.

Last year, ASB joined forces with a new co-operative society, Community Savings Bank Association (CSBA), to set up a UK-wide network of independent, customer-owned, regional banks – to support local communities and businesses.

Banking Technology understands the CSBA initiative continues as planned, unaffected by the ASB closure.

Going, going, gone 

Another recent departure from the UK banking scene is Duncan Lawrie, a small private bank – sold off at the end of last year. The loan book of the private banking business went to another private bank, Arbuthnot Latham & Co, while the asset management arm to investment management firm Brewin Dolphin.

Also gone is Butterfield Private Bank, a subsidiary of Bermuda-based Butterfield Group. The bank officially closed down its UK deposit-taking and investment management operations in early 2017.

A short-lived affair was First Global Trust Bank (FGTB). Originally set up under the name of Llamabrook in 2011, the entity changed its name to FGTB in March 2016 and received an “authorisation with restriction” licence from the regulators. However, later that year, its owners decided to withdraw the application “for the foreseeable future”.