Q. What is happening?
As you may know, we have found it increasingly difficult to maintain our position as a small independent savings bank in today’s highly-competitive financial world. In recent years, this has forced us to take some difficult decisions – including the closure of several branches – in a bid to tackle a shrinking customer base, declining footfall across our network and ever-rising operating costs.
Whilst we are financially strong, a comprehensive strategic review of all future options concluded that - as a very small bank - we will not have the resources in the years ahead to provide the products and services our customers need in an increasingly digital world. The Board and Executive Team have therefore, taken the difficult decision in the best interests of our customers to close down our accounts and ask our customers to move their business to an alternative banking provider.
Q. Is Airdrie Savings Bank closing?
Over time – Yes. Initially, the Coatbridge and Bellshill branches will close on 28 April 2017 and Current Accounts, VISA debit cards and Internet Banking will also be withdrawn on 28 April 2017.
We haven’t set a date for the closure of the main Airdrie branch and Head Office as we are committed to ensuring all of our loyal and valued customers identify a suitable alternative bank or building society. We are also totally committed to doing all we can to help them transfer their banking business to them.
Q. What will happen to my account?
On 28 April 2017, Airdrie Savings Bank will withdraw its current account service. This means that your account will no longer operate after this date; you will no longer be able to pay debits or receive credits to your account after this date. The only activity you will be able to carry out after this date will be to close your account.
Q. What do I need to do?
You will need to close your account, or switch your account to another provider, before the 28 April 2017.
Q. How do I close my account?
You can do this in the following ways:
- By approaching an alternative financial services provider who will carry out the switch for you. Your account will close as part of this process.
- Completing the Account Closure Request form which is enclosed with your letter.
- Calling our Customer Contact Centre on 01236 766851 (account values of less than £5,000)
- Calling into your local branch: Bellshill and Coatbridge until 28 April 2017, or Airdrie Branch.
Q. What if I don’t close my account before 28 April 2017?
Your account will no longer operate after this date. After 28 April 2017 any direct debits, standing orders, or recurring debit card payments will no longer be paid. Additionally, no funds will be paid into your account after this date, including salary payments. You should arrange alternative banking facilities before this date.
If you haven’t arranged alternative banking facilities by 28 April 2017 you can still come into Airdrie branch and withdraw your funds and close your account.
Please note, you cannot continue to operate your account after this date, only closure transactions will be carried out.
Q. What will happen to my VISA Debit, Linkcard or Electron card?
From 28 April 2017 your VISA Debit, Linkcard or Electron card will no longer function. This means that you cannot withdraw money at an ATM, or carry out any VISA transactions in shops or online. You should arrange alternative banking facilities before this date. If your card expires before then and you still need it, we will however renew it for use until 28 April 2017.
Q. What about Internet Banking?
After 28 April 2017 the Internet Banking facility will be withdrawn. You will no longer be able to log in to Internet Banking to view your account, or make payments. You should arrange alternative banking facilities before this date.
Q. What happens to my recurring payments?
After 28 April 2017 any direct debits or standing orders which are paid from your account will no longer be paid. Additionally, any payments which are recurring debit card payments will also cease to be paid after this date.
Q. Will I still need to pay the £5 monthly account fee?
Yes, the account fee will continue to be charged during this period. However, it will only be charged where your account has remained opened until the last working day of the month.
Q. What happens to interest/charges if I close my account part way through the month?
Any interest due on your account will be paid up to, and including, the day on which your account is closed.
You will not be charged any monthly account fees where you have closed your account in the middle of the month. Charges will only be payable where the account has remained opened until the last working day of the month.
Other charges, including failed direct debits and standing orders due to insufficient funds, will continue to apply during this period.
Q. I’m overdrawn, can I still close my account?
No. You will need to arrange to repay your overdraft before your account can be closed.
You can discuss a new overdraft with your chosen financial services provider. If the overdraft is agreed, you should arrange to repay your Airdrie Savings Bank overdraft.
If you think you will have problems repaying your current overdraft, please contact us to discuss this.
Q. Will I still get a statement?
Yes, you will still receive a statement in line with your current preferences (e.g. monthly, quarterly).
Q. What are the Next Steps?
You will need to close your account and move your banking services to another provider. You can do this using any of the methods outlined in your account letter.
In addition, there are some key dates which you will need to know:
Key Dates for You to Know
Product Specific Action Letters
25th January – 3rd February 2017
Bellshill Branch Closure
28th April 2017
Coatbridge Branch Closure
28th April 2017
Current Account Withdrawal
28th April 2017
VISA Debit, Linkcard and Electron Card Withdrawal
28th April 2017
Internet Banking Withdrawal
28th April 2017
Airdrie Branch Closure
Precise date to be confirmed
Q. How do I open a new account?
The choice of a new financial services provider is entirely yours. You can research all options online at https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/how-to-choose-the-right-bank-account.
For help selecting the best available Current Account visit: https://www.uswitch.com/current-accounts/how-to-find-the-best-current-account/.
There are a number of independent bodies who can offer free, impartial advice on finding a new bank account:
Money Advice Service
0300 500 5000
Citizens Advice Scotland
03454 04 05 06
As you know, as part of the phased reduction in our business activities, we have established a new business relationship with TSB, who were a savings bank and we still share a similar ethos and heritage. TSB has been found by customers to be the UK’s most recommended high street bank. Its range of Current Accounts, including its Classic Plus Account, is broadly comparable to your existing ASB Current Account – and has more favourable terms and conditions than you currently have with ASB.
Q. I have a bad credit record and difficulty opening an account elsewhere. What does this mean for me?
Having a bad credit record will not stop you from opening a fee-free basic bank account at a number of banks, including TSB.
You can find out more about the options available to you at: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/basic-bank-accounts
Q. I’ve heard about the Current Account Switching Service, can ASB switch my account for me?
Unfortunately not. ASB is not a member of the Current Account Switching Service (CASS). As we are not a member of CASS, you will also need to arrange to transfer all your direct debits and standing orders onto your new account.
However, if you approach your chosen financial services provider they can initiate an account switch from their side. They will contact ASB and we will provide them with details of your Direct Debits, Standing Orders and regular credits – like salary and benefits payments.
Q. Is ASB in danger of going bust?
Absolutely not. ASB continues to be very financially strong. The Trustees, having completed an extensive strategic review, have however come to the conclusion that as a very small bank we are unlikely to have the resources required to develop the products and services that our customers need in the years ahead. We have decided, therefore, to close the bank over the course of 2017 and give as much assistance as possible to our customers to move their banking to alternative banking providers.
Q. Is my money safe?
Absolutely. The Bank continues to be financially strong and we are confident that our customers will understand and accept the reasons we are having a phased end to our business activities. We hold everyone’s savings with us, ready for them to transfer it to their new banking provider. Additionally, your deposit is protected up to a value of £75,000 (£85,000 from 30th January 2017) by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. You can find more details on what this means for you at https://www.fscs.org.uk/
Q. When are the branches closing?
Bellshill and Coatbridge Branches will close on 28 April 2017.
As yet, no firm date has been set for the closure of our Airdrie Branch. It will remain open for as long as it takes for our customers to transfer their business to an alternative financial services provider. But we expect it to close before the end of 2017.
Q. Where can I get more information?
Alternatively, you can also call into any of our branches – Coatbridge and Bellshill until 28th April 2017, or our Airdrie Branch.
Q. How do I make a complaint?
Customer complaints can be raised by telephone via our Contact Centre on 01236 766851, or in person with the Manager at any of our branches, or by emailing us at:
Call us on 01236 766 851