by Colin Campbell
THE busy Bank of Scotland in Inverness High Street has closed down after being hit by the coronavirus.
A notice there said yesterday: “We have temporarily closed this branch as we had a colleague/customer affected by the virus. We will continue to monitor the situation and will reopen the branch as soon as we are able to.”
It’s the first time a bank in the city has had to shut down.
The Bank of Scotland is one of the busiest – if not the busiest – branch in Inverness.
Its closure will come as a blow, particularly to elderly people who do not use online banking.
It earlier this week texted customers to say it would be open only until to 2pm for those with essential business.
But now the virus has struck.
During the last lockdown staff were at the door quizzing customers as to the reasons they wanted to enter the branch.
However until last week people were able to enter as normal, and the branch remained open until 3.30pm, with social distancing rules being firmly in place.
On its website it states: “The safest way to bank with us right now is from home either using our app or through Internet Banking. If you do need to visit us in branch, most are open 9.30am to 2pm Monday to Friday. We’ve taken the decision not to open branches at weekends. Please make sure you check before you visit. To protect you and our staff, we’ve put social distancing measures in place in our branches so you can bank with us safely. You’ll also be asked to wear a face covering. When you visit, we may ask you to wait outside if it’s busy and things may take a little more time to complete, but we’ll help you as quickly as we can, so please bear with us.”
Another branch of the bank in the Longman remains open.
The hope is that the High Street branch will be back in business as soon as possible to minimise the disruption to its many customers reliant on it for a number of essential financial transactions.