TSB is to close a third of its branches and cut around 900 jobs, citing a change in customer behaviour with a “marked shift to digital banking”.
Fewer customers are using branches and there has been a significant acceleration in digital adoption, the bank said in a statement.
“We are reshaping our business to transform the customer experience and set us up for the future,” said Debbie Crosbie, chief executive of TSB. “This means having the right balance between branches on the high street and our digital platforms, enabling us to offer the very best experience for our personal and business customers across the UK.”
TSB is planning to close 164 branches in 2021, in addition to a further 21 closures before the end of 2020. At the end of next year it will have 290 branches, down from the current network of 475.
Most of the job losses are expected to to come from voluntary redundancy.
The announcement was criticised by trade union Unite, whose national officer Dominic Hook said: “Unite has argued for some time that the financial services industry has a social responsibility not to walk away from its local customers who continue to need access to banking in bank branches.
“It beggars belief that just seven years ago TSB had 631 local branches and this announcement will reduce that number to merely 290 branches.”
The locations of the latest branches earmarked for closure have not yet been announced, but will be available at https://www.tsb.co.uk/our-branches/ after impacted employees have been informed.
On average the branches are less than 0.3 miles to the nearest post office and under 0.1 miles to the nearest free ATM, the bank said.
“Alongside these changes, we will continue to invest in our remaining branch network to offer high quality banking services, fully integrated with improved digital capability,” said TSB’s customer banking director, Robin Bulloch.
“We are working to ensure the transition towards digital — which is being seen right across the economy — is handled sensitively and pragmatically for our colleagues and customers. We’re taking steps to support vulnerable customers and those in rural locations.”