BANKING giant Santander is “abandoning” customers in the east end of Glasgow and refusing to release figures that could make the case to keep it open, according to a MP.

The Spanish owned firm is closing 15 branches in Scotland including two in Glasgow as part of a closure plan across the UK putting thousands of jobs at risk.

David Linden, Glasgow East SNP MP, led a debate in Westminster on the closures and made a call for the company to keep the Parkhead Forge branch open.

He said: “The Parkhead branch situated in the busy Forge Shopping Centre appears to have a very heavy footfall, with customers like myself often having to queue before seeing a teller.

“Frustratingly, and despite asking for the transaction and footfall data, I’ve still not received this information from the bank, which makes me question whether or not Santander have regarded this at all.

“Surely if the branch isn’t being used enough, then Santander would be content to demonstrate this by releasing the data?”

Mr Linden said the firm has closed more than 300 branches across the UK with a devastating effect on those who rely on a branch for services.

The bank said that a growing shift to internet and mobile banking has led to the decision to close

However the MP criticised the bank for failing to consider specific circumstances of the local area that would lead to

He added: “In the impact assessment, the bank concedes that only half of the customers who use Parkhead branch use Online, Mobile or Telephone Banking services.

“The data concerning digital exclusion in the East End is widely available, so it beggars belief that Santander has overlooked this and still plan to pull down the shutters on a branch which serves some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in the country.

The firm is also closing its Springburn Shopping Centre branch

Paul Sweeney, Labour Glasgow North East MP said: “It is profit seeking behaviour.”

He criticised the decision is to close two branches in the poorest communities in Glasgow while keeping others in Shawlands, Byres Road and two in the city centre open.

He said: “We are down to the last banks in the poorest communities in Glasgow.”

Mr Sweeney said there needs to be regulation and legislation to protect services in local communities.

He questioned the statistics used by Santander to close the Springburn branch stating fewer than half in Springburn used internet or telephone banking.